British COVID-19 patient cured, discharged in Kochi: Here's his survival story | Video

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(Sitting: Left to right) Dr Jacob K Jacob, Brian Neil and Dr Fathahudhin. (Standing) Dr Geetha Nair, Dr Ganesh Mohan, Dr Thomas Mathew, Dr Manoj Antony, Dr Peter P Vazhayil.
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Kochi: A British national who had been undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at Ernakulam Government Medical College after he was offloaded from a flight last month, was discharged on Wednesday.

Brian Neil, 57, was admitted on March 15 after he was offloaded from a Dubai-bound flight at the Nedumbassery international airport.

He was part of a 19-member team from the UK who had toured the Munnar hill station in Idukki district.

Brian was admitted to the isolation ward of the medical college with severe COVID-19 pneumonia symptoms.

His treatment was in news as the doctors used anti-HIV drug combination of Ritonavir-Lopinavir for the first time on a COVID patient in Kerala.

He was admitted along with his wife Jane Lockwood, who was later discharged as her repeated samples tested negative for COVID-19.

Six more members of his team were admitted to the hospital later after they were tested positive for coronavirus infection. Two of them were discharged earlier while the remaining four have moved to a private hospital in Ernakulam.

“Brian’s condition became critical with progressive reduction in oxygen level leading to respiratory failure, needing continuous oxygen administration. Meanwhile, he needed ventilatory support. After three days of antivirals, his condition began to improve, though he continued to have unremitting fever,” the district authorities said in a release.

X-rays then showed his lung condition worsened.

During this period, his oxygenation was maintained. The seventh day after starting antivirals, his fever subsided.

“With the antiviral treatment his 2 samples turned out to be negative for COVID- 19,” according to the release.

On being discharged, Brian thanked the Kerala government and the medical team for taking care of him.

“The survival story of Brian is a tribute to the great team spirit and clinical ethos practised in the institution during these hard times of fighting a global pandemic,” hospital authorities said.

He was treated by a multidisciplinary team headed by Dr Fathahudeen, Dr Jacob K Jacob, Dr Ganesh Mohan, Dr Geetha Nair, Dr Vidhukumar, Dr Vibha Santhosh and Dr Renimol under the supervision of principal Dr Thomas Mathew.

High drama

Brian's Kerala trip was stuff of high drama. He was part of a 19-member UK group touring Munnar and was advised quarantine after he landed in Kerala and showed some symptoms.

After his test results showed he was coronavirus positive, authorities sent a team to shift him.

By the time health department personnel reached the resort, the UK team had left leading to some sort of panic.

Later, after hectic efforts, the team was traced in Kochi, but they had already boarded the

Dubai-bound Emirates EK 531 flight which had 290 passengers.

The authorities then offloaded the entire UK team.

The flight later left with 270 passengers after one passenger opted to cancel the journey amid the drama surrounding Brian and the UK tour team.

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