GUWAHATI: An elderly Naga couple has shown new hope by defeating COVID-19.
Tsulo Therie (93) and his wife Zunyi-ii (79) had tested positive for the disease on July 25. On Saturday, their ten children and other members, including grandchildren, of the large family celebrated as the couple returned home, victorious after winning the battle against the virus.
The family hails from Lasumi village in Nagaland’s Phek district bordering Myanmar. The nonagenarian is a retired school headmaster who is also one of the first theologians of the village.
Not just the family and locals, even doctors are viewing the couple’s recovery as a “miracle” as they suffer from comorbidity.
Dr Wetshelo T Mero of the District Hospital, Phek, who was part of the team that treated the couple, admitted that he was initially worried but never lost hope.
“We were initially worried as both are old and have comorbidity. The man has arthritis while his wife is a diabetic. Also, both are hypertensive,” Dr Mero told The New Indian Express.
He said the possible reasons behind their recovery were genetic, their diet and the Naga social support system. Encouragement by two of their sons, who were undergoing treatment alongside them, was the morale-booster, the doctor felt.
“Even at the age of 93, the man is active. So, mobility plays an important role along with the traditional Naga diet. Most people in Nagaland are not exposed to junk food. They eat fresh organic food. Diet contributes to our vitality and health,” Dr Mero added.
Kute Therie is a son of the couple. A Community Health Officer at a government-run health and wellness centre near his village, he was the first in the family to get infected by the virus.
“I was engaged in Covid-19 duty from July 6-13 and it was followed by seven days’ of institutional quarantine. On July 21, I tested positive and a retest confirmed positivity again on July 24. My parents and brother Weku had tested positive over the next two days,” Kute said.
He was perplexed as to how the others in his family had tested positive. He said he had not visited his home since July 6. He said his parents and brother had tested positive during contact tracing of his illness. Barring him, the others were asymptomatic.
The health officer said unlike in some other parts where people stigmatized the Covid-19 patients and their families, the locals in his village had been very supportive and they prayed for their recovery.
“I would say it’s due to God’s blessings that my parents survived. Our near and dear ones had fasted praying for their recovery. My parents have been also very brave and positive. We along with doctors and paramedics encouraged them constantly,” Kute said.