Five months on and 31 tests later, homeless woman in Rajasthan still infected with COVID-19

Sharda was treated by local doctors following which her symptoms started disappearing and she started feeling healthy again.  

Published: 24th January 2021 07:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th January 2021 07:13 PM   |  A+A-

Representational picture of coronavirus (Photo | AP)

Representational picture of coronavirus (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

JAIPUR: The coronavirus positive status of a 32-year-old woman has left the medical fraternity in Rajasthan baffled and shaken. Sharada Devi, who has been living at a shelter for the homeless in Bharatpur district, had tested positive for COVID-19 on August 28 last year and is yet to be declared negative. Despite 31 tests in the last five months, she still remains a coronavirus positive patient.

The woman had come to Apna Ghar organisation, shelter to over 3000 homeless persons, last August. Her condition at that time was very feeble and she was also the first person to test positive for coronavirus at the shelter.

Sharda was treated by local doctors following which her symptoms started disappearing and she started feeling healthy again. Since mid-September, she has shown no visible symptoms. 

However, health officials were in for a rude shock after finding out that Sharda's COVID test is still positive. She underwent 31 tests- 14 RTPCR and 17 antigen. Interestingly, Sharda was given not only allopathic but also homeopathy and ayurvedic treatments in the last five months. Though her weight has gone up by six kg, the virus in her body persists and she has been kept in isolation.

A senior professor at the SMS Medical College in Jaipur, Dr. Raman Sharma says that the case of Bharatpur woman is extremely rare and is fit to be documented in a medical journal. "Generally, the coronavirus does not stay alive beyond two months and it's almost impossible for the virus to remain alive in a patient for nearly five months. This is an extraordinary case," Sharma said. 

Authorities at the Apna Ghar organization have written to the Bharatpur Collector and CMHO to allow the woman patient to be shifted to Jaipur for better treatment. However, they are yet to receive approval for the move.

Dr. BM Bharadwaj who heads the Apna Ghar organization says, “ a few weeks ago, some senior doctors from the microbiology department at Jaipur’s SMS Medical college had visited Bharatpur and inspected Sharada. We are keen to get her treated under the guidance and supervision of those doctors in Jaipur. Until permission is granted to move her, Sharada will be continued to receive treatment here.”  Dr. Bharadwaj also revealed that the last Corona test on Sharada was done on January 8 and she once again had tested positive.

It is now over 140 days since the woman was found to be Corona positive. Her strange case is an indication that though the coronavirus threat is gradually dissolving, there are still several aspects to the pandemic that remain a mystery and a big challenge for health experts.


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