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On Pakistan’s Covid Anniversary, Country’s First Patient Recalls The Nightmare

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Syed Muhammad Yahya Jafferi, a 23-year-old entrepreneur, who was confirmed as the first Covid-19 patient of Pakistan on February 26 last year, says he’s now living a normal life a year after he contracted the virus and recovered from it.

In an interview with Dawn, he recounted the year that went by. He shared that he had returned to Pakistan from Iran on February 22 and had ignored all the telltale signs of the virus.

“I was not feeling well but ignored everything. When I was given a go-ahead at the airport and allowed to go home, amid strict monitoring of passengers coming from abroad, I felt further relaxed that nothing was wrong. I even attended my university for the next two days. But when my condition didn’t improve, I went to a private hospital on Feb 26, where the [Covid-19] test was being conducted. I was tested in the morning and asked to stay at the hospital till the report was finalised. And you know what happened next,” he was quoted as saying.

From that day onwards life in Pakistan was never normal again. Lockdown was soon imposed in the country and cases of Covid-19 started to grow. Educational institutions were shut down along with all outdoor activities that involved a large number of people — including weddings.

A year from that day in 2020 to February 26th in 2021 schools are reportedly being opened for five days a week and indoor weddings have been allowed again. Pakistan is going relatively better in handling the crisis but experts warn it’s not over till we get vaccination.

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Naya Daur