When Asiful Hoque tested Covid-19 positive on April 14, his whole world went into a whirlwind at first. But soon enough, the medical officer at Banshkhali Upazila Health Complex in Chattogram gathered himself and rode the wave, because he knew his duty beckoned him.
After recovering from the virus, Asiful returned to work on May 10 to serve the patients. He was seen attending to patients at the health complex last week.
Asiful told this newspaper that he was also supplying food and daily essentials to families who were in home isolation in the upazila, on behalf a voluntary organisation.
A student of 52nd MBBS batch of Chattogram Medical College, Asiful joined the health cadre in the 39th BCS last year, and was posted at his native upazila as a medical officer.
Asiful suspects he was infected by a patient at the health complex, as he did not visit any other place other than his residence and his workplace in the last three months.
"After I was suffering from fever and dry cough for two days, I went to Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases for testing on April 12," he told The Daily Star, adding, "On April 14, I received the result."
"I was worried for a moment, but I stayed strong and was preparing myself to fight the virus," he said. "My family members, neighbours, house owner, relatives -- were all supportive."
"My neighbours and landlord provided cooked food everyday to my family members who were in isolation in the house," he added.
"After completing isolation period, I did not wait for a single day to join work," said a beaming Asiful. "The nation needs the service of doctors and healthcare providers most at this moment; I did not want to waste a moment to serve the nation."
"Besides, I thought others' morale would be boosted seeing me in service again," he said.
Momena Akter, upazila nirbahi officer of Banshkhali, said Asiful has set an inspiring example. "His comeback will also give strength to patients, some of who have become panicked and frustrated after getting infected," she said.