UAE: Indian woman survives Covid near-death experience, delivers child

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An Indian woman’s Covid-19 suffering and resulting near-death experience has healed after she gave birth to a boy here.

Asfia Samreen delivered the baby in September, after having contracted the virus in May, Gulf News reported.

“Congratulations to Asfia Samreen, who after a long and difficult battle with Covid-19 in the final trimester of her pregnancy, delivered a healthy baby boy,” the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) announced on its social media platforms on Wednesday.

It was a miraculous recovery for the Indian homemaker after a series of problems starting with her expired medical insurance, the much-needed protection during the pregnancy. Her husband, an electrical engineer, could not get his family’s medical insurance renewed as his employer was going through a financial crisis, reported WAM.

“This was all possible thanks to Samreen’s perseverance, and the hard work, dedication and care of the medical teams at both Corniche Hospital and Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC),” Abu Dhabi’s public health provider added.

Samreen was in the 24th week of her pregnancy when she tested positive on May 6. She was admitted to Cornich Hospital, the capital’s premier public maternity hospital, on May 7.

“At one point, the doctors had thought of inducing an early delivery of the baby as they were not sure of saving my life,” Samreen said.

Saleema Wani, senior obstetrician and gynaecology consultant at Corniche Hospital, said Samreen was gravely unwell.

“She was in critical condition. We had to discuss with the family whether to induce an early delivery. We agreed to let the pregnancy progress normally,” Wani said.

Samreen was eventually moved to SSMC as her condition worsened, and remained unconscious for five days. She finally regained consciousness on May 18, and was discharged in the first week of June.

According to the WAM report, she had to pay for regular check-ups at a private hospital, adding to the financial burden on her husband who was not getting a regular salary because of the crisis at the workplace. He was struggling to take care of the five-member family, including three children aged 7, 6 and 3.

During a regular check-up, the doctor asked Samreen to test for Covid-19 for having some symptoms and she was shocked to get a positive result on May 6. Subsequently, her husband also tested positive for the disease, added the woman from the south Indian city of Hyderabad.

On May 7, Samreen suffered from multiple ailments and got admitted to the Corniche Hospital in Abu Dhabi. Although she did not have a medical insurance, the hospital under SEHA, offered her all necessary treatment.

“I had severe cough, diarrhea and breathing problems and could not speak at all. They immediately put an oxygen mask on me. I was conscious but I had no idea about what was going on,” Samreen said.

“Only one thing I clearly remember is the love and care of Saleema Wani and a team of nurses. They comforted and supported me and instilled confidence and hope in me.”

Later, they told her that she was continuously asking to meet her husband but it was impossible, as he was also a Covid patient. He was asymptomatic and hence quarantined at home.

Samreen says she still feels the painful sufferings of Covid. “Apparently it severely affected my lungs. I had a high fever as well.”