Turkish man recovers from COVID-19 after 16 months, 86 PCR tests
Muzaffer Kayasan, who may hold the record for the longest period of infection for any COVID-19 patient in Turkey, has finally defeated the deadly disease. His monthslong quarantine ended on Tuesday after he tested negative for the disease on his 86th test.
The 56-year-old had tested positive for the deadly disease 85 times since 2020 and was seeking a way out of his situation, which had confined him to his home and hospitals for 16 months.
Kayasan, a leukemia patient, was first diagnosed with COVID-19 in November 2020 and was hospitalized. He was discharged from the hospital after a brief treatment period and as the severity of his illness reduced. He had returned to his home in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district, awaiting a full recovery in self-isolation. But it was only the beginning of his confinement. Self-isolation was reduced to two weeks in January for coronavirus patients if they test negative. But to his chagrin, all 85 tests he was subject to showed Kayasan was still COVID-19 positive. He spent a total of 470 days in the hospital and at home in self-isolation.
Kayasan’s interesting situation also caught the attention of the world, Sabah newspaper reported, pointing out that scientists from various countries contacted Kayasan and obtained information about his situation through an interpreter.
Kayasan, a father of three, told Sabah that his negative test has made him very happy. Noting that he hugged his 4-month-old grandson and 1-year-old granddaughter after he tested negative for the disease, Kayasan said he had spent his days alone at home, only seeing his children and grandchildren through a window.
Kayasan said COVID-19 has stolen 16 months from his life. “Everyone should pay attention to mask, distance and hygiene. Let’s defeat the coronavirus together,” he added.
Kayasan previously said that when he asked doctors about his situation, they told him the tests continue to return positive because of his frail immune system due to leukemia. He said he was surviving on drugs he was prescribed to keep his immune system bolstered. “It is a very difficult process,” he said.
His wife had stayed with Kayasan for a while during his self-isolation period and had tested negative for COVID-19 twice. His son, who also spent time with him, had tested negative as well. “I first thought I was a carrier, but this is not the case. Nobody except them stayed with me. I think I am more exposed to the virus than them,” he said. “I had recovered, but I still had
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remnants of COVID-19 in my body. This is the only explanation I was given for the positive tests,” he added.