On the wall of the quarantine chamber of the Infectious Diseases Clinic “Dr. Fran Mihaljevic ” in capital of Croatia – Zagreb, in which twin brothers suffering from coronavirus are being held, a red lamp is lit – a signal to reach an intercom through which doctors and nurses have been communicating with the diseased brothers for the last 17 days.
“All three of you are negative,” the doctor says, referring to both coronavirus-infected twin brothers, and the girlfriends of one of them – first recorded patients in Croatia.
For the first-born twin and his girlfriend, it was the first negative finding, and for the second twin this was the second – one that means he is now healthy.
– Yes, I am the first person in Croatia who is discharged home from the hospital after I got over the coronavirus – a young man tells to journalist who contacted him over the phone while he was resting in his Zagreb apartment.
Journalists couldn’t interview him face to face because the doctor’s recommendation was to stay in home isolation for ten more days for preventative reasons.
– Recent research has shown that in some extreme situations a person can be infectious for 25 days, so I will respect that. But I’m negative and this is just an extra measure – he tells to journalists.
After finding out that he was healthy, the doctor asked him if he would wait for his brother or if he would go home.
– I answered that if I could, I would leave. After all, my brother is negative, and I expect him to leave the hospital tomorrow as well. And we’ve been together for a couple of squares too long so we can take a break from each other – the overjoyed twin laughs.
The feeling, he says, was indescribable. He was so excited only when he graduated just over half a year ago.
His mother eagerly awaited him in front of the hospital.
– The moment when I was able to go out into the open. You have no idea how little we all appreciate what we have” he says.
He left the hospital in a pantsuit, jacket, pants and sneakers. In his hand he carried a blue bag containing two empty bags and a letter of release.
– Everything else I have used and carried remains in the hospital and they will disinfect and wash it with their methods, and I have already thrown away a part. The disinfected clothes in which I left the hospital I left in the garage. The empty bags were already well disinfected at the hospital, and I bathed my cell phone later in medical alcohol – he explains
Sure, she’ll be home for another ten days, but it’s still different.
“It’s amazing that all those days have gone by so quickly, and I already feel like I’ve never been in the hospital,” he says.
He spends most of his time at home.
For 17 days in hospital, ever since he was diagnosed with COVID-19, he has not seen a face without a mask or a person approaching him without a protective suit.
“As for the course of the disease, it looked like this: I came to the hospital with a temperature of 37.4 degrees Celsius and that was the only symptom I had that day,” he explains, continuing the quarantine story. – For the next two days, the temperature climbed to 38.5, and symptoms were similar to the classic flu, muscle and joint pain, ‘heavy head’ and general weakness began to appear.
After that, his temperature dropped to 37.5 degrees Celsius, and by the next day it was almost gone.
“I actually had some symptoms for six days, and then it stopped. Only chronic fatigue remained for the next few days. It is really hard for me to judge if it was due to illness or whether they were the result of being indoors for a long time, ”he tells us.
In the last days in the hospital, he felt perfectly healthy.
When talking about the life in quarantine, and what did it look like, he says it was terribly boring.
– The first couple of days were terribly boring, but later it was gone. I don’t know how to describe it. You just accept the situation and it becomes your life. In this case, my brother and I were in a small room 24 hours a day and so on and on – he explains.
They were waking up at 8 o’clock – a nurse would wake them up over the intercom. They would check theirs vital functions, temperature and then proceed to eat breakfast.
– Then w ewould go to bed again. It’s not like we were able to go out for a morning coffee at a bar – he laughs and adds that at around 12 o’clock they watched the News and had lunch.
In the meanwhile they would be online. They watched numerous online series and spent evenings watching sports.
– Domestic league, foreign leagues … give what you give – says the young man.
They cleaned the room for part of the day.
– You can’t believe how much dust is collected in a short time … or we just pretended to have it to waste time. I have never spent so much time cleaning toilets, but my God – with cleaning and rubbing two hours pass an instant – says this young man.
Finally, journalist asked him if he has acquired immunity now.
– Nobody can say that and I don’t think anyone knows it yet. Too little time has passed to draw conclusions – he concluded.