A local official in the Turkish metropolis Istanbul donated immune plasma twice after beating COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Mukhtar Fatih Ekiz in Kartal district won his fight against the virus after a 40-day treatment, which he says was painful.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency about the process, Ekiz said when the first coronavirus case was announced in Turkey on March 11, mukhtar offices were assigned to provide social assistance, which drew 3,000-4,000 people daily to his office.

Ekiz said that in April, he started to show the symptoms of the disease — high fever, diarrhea, headache, weakness — and also suffered rapid weight loss.

“I’m 41 years old and have never had a disease like this before,” he said.

After testing positive for COVID-19, Ekiz was put under treatment in his house as he did not have difficulty in breathing.

“A total of 21 people tested positive for COVID-19 from my family,” he said, adding they are living in one building with his close relatives.

“But I was the only one with symptoms,” he said, warning that people might be carrying the disease without being aware of it.

– Mask is must

“I had lost around 20 kilograms [44 pounds] in the first 15 days of the disease,” Ekiz recalled, adding that his body was getting weaker each day.

He said that after testing negative for the disease, he donated immune plasma twice and is now preparing to donate for a third time.

“If they lived what I went through, they would not remove their masks for a lifetime,” Ekiz said, highlighting the importance of wearing masks to be protected from the disease.

On Sunday, Turkey announced nearly 1,200 recoveries from the novel coronavirus, taking the total number to 180,680.

There are a total of 205,758 cases in the country, while the death toll stands at 5,225.

* Contributions and writing by Sena Guler in Ankara

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