SANLIURFA, Turkey

A Turkish doctor who recently recovered from the coronavirus said he suffered headaches like never before.

“It felt as if my head was clamped,” said Dr. Ahmet Guzelcicek, the chief physician at Harran University in the eastern province of Sanliurfa.

He said he caught the virus from a patient at the hospital.

“I felt terribly weak and couldn’t even lift my arms. When I slept, I had terrible nightmares.”

He said the virus takes a toll on mental health as well.

“Being away and separated from loved ones and relatives, friends, and work environment creates another challenge and distress.

“My body was in quarantine at home, so to speak, but my soul was with my colleagues at the hospital. Because it would not be appropriate to leave the health army alone in this fight,” he added.

Noting that health workers are under a lot of stress due to nonstop work since the first case was registered in March, he said: “We provide counselling to health workers and patients twice a week.”

He urged the public to follow social distancing rules and wear masks.

“If we follow the measures, the number of cases will decrease.”

The virus has claimed nearly 893,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in China in December.

The US, India, and Brazil are currently the worst-hit countries.

Over 27.35 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries nearing 18.35 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

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