A shadow minister who became the first female parliamentarian to be admitted to hospital with Covid-19 described the “excruciating pain” caused by coughing fits and pneumonia as the disease took hold of her.
Yasmin Qureshi, a Labor MP for Bolton South East and shadow minister for international development, said she was left “anxious and concerned” after being taken by ambulance to her local hospital in October.
Two months later, he’s slowly getting back to normal, but he’s still having a hard time taking her on her regular walks.
In her first interview about her experience, Qureshi, 57, said that, like many others, her illness started with a fever and developed into a continuous cough within a week.
“The cough didn’t stop. I used an oximeter and it showed my oxygen levels dropped to 89/90, ”he said. He was prescribed medications and steroids, which alleviated some of the symptoms, but the coughing spells continued, he said.
‘The base of my stomach ached, my chest. I could feel physical pain inside. Then my oxygen levels dropped to 85/86. But it was the cough that really started to hurt. Sometimes the pain felt unbearable. I coughed so much that I threw up, ”he said.
After speaking with a friend who is an accident and emergency consultant, her husband of 12 years, Nadeem Ashraf, called an ambulance to their home in their constituency. “When the doctors said they were going to have to take me to the hospital, my husband looked really worried, the color had disappeared from his face,” she said.
After six days of treatment at Royal Bolton Hospital, Qureshi was allowed to return home, but his recovery has been slow.
Before hiring Covid, he took regular 7-8 km walks. On Friday, she was exhausted after a 2 km walk, she said.
Qureshi, a non-practicing criminal attorney, said she was concerned about reports that black, Asian and ethnic minority communities were less likely to consider getting vaccinated against Covid and that disreputable claims were circulating on social media.
A study by the Royal Society for Public Health found that 57% of ethnic minority people said they would take the vaccine, compared with 79% of white people.
Among the vaccine rumors rejected as unfounded by independent health experts are suggestions that immunizations could change DNA. “I know that people, and others, talk about these conspiracy theories. I urge people to get vaccinated, ”he said.