An Ontario doctor became the first COVID-19 case in one of India’s biggest cities — and now she’s is trapped in that country with her two-year old son, who has also tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Nazia Syed, who works as a physician at Mackenzie Richmond HIll Hospital, left for Lucknow, India to visit her family in the beginning of March, before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
She felt ill shortly after arriving and then tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first case in her hometown of nearly three million people.
Syed remained alone in quarantine at a government-run hospital for nearly two weeks before finally being allowed to leave.
“Living in that institution in a small room for 11 days was difficult, but this is, like, terrible,” she said.
She finally reunited with her husband, son and her in-laws, who had to get tested as a precautionary measure.
That’s when they found out that her two-year-old son, Haider had tested positive — along with her mother-in-law and her father-in-law.
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“I’m devestated,” said Syed. “I feel guilty; I feel responsible for all of this.
“I’m scared, as well.”
Syed says their treatment since Haider tested positive on Sunday has been ‘terrible,’ since there’s a strong stigma surrounding the virus in India.
“It was quite dirty, there was feces on the bed sheets, there were mosquitos and rats,” said Syed.