Former world champion boxer L Sarita Devi has recovered from COVID-19 but has quarantined herself away from her home in Imphal for at least the next 10 days to ensure that her young son's "well being is not compromised". The 38-year-old had tested positive for the dreaded virus on August 17 along with her husband Thoiba Singh. She was discharged from a care facility on Monday after returning a negative test.
"I came back yesterday after testing negative. My husband was discharged last week but I had to spend a few more days at the COVID care centre after my test came positive. But thankfully I am out of there now," Sarita told PTI. She has lodged herself at the hostel of her academy near her home in Imphal to ensure that her seven-year-old son Tomthin is not at risk. The child had tested negative for the virus last month.
"If I would have gone home, he would have come running to me. And I can't take that risk. For his sake, I have decided to isolate myself at my academy's hostel," she said. "My husband is also here but he will leave because his isolation will be over in the next couple of days as he was discharged before me," she added. Sarita was mostly asymptomatic for the duration of her illness, experiencing only mild fever for a day along with a blocked nose.
"I had mild cold when I got myself tested along with my husband. It saddened me to start with because my kid, who tested negative, left from the facility crying. He was calling out for me. That was tough to deal with," she recalled. "But then I saw so many people fighting it out and I told myself I can't allow a virus to defeat me. The resolve helps, you cannot lose it mentally. Staying strong in the mind is important to beat this virus," she said.
Sarita is an Asian Games bronze-winner, besides being a five-time Asian Championships gold-medallist. She was the second boxer to test positive for the virus after the legendary Dingko Singh. Dingko, an Asian Games gold-medallist who is also battling cancer, had recovered from the infection after enduring a month-long hospitalisation.
Sarita is one of the longest serving and among the most decorated women boxers of the country. She became a world champion in the 2006 edition and added two bronze medals in the later editions. She is also a Commonwealth Games silver-medallist besides being a national medallist. "Another challenge beaten," she laughed, referring to the dreaded illness she recovered from. "I guess some challenge here and there helps you stay on your toes."