103-year-old Pakistani man becomes one of the oldest in the world to survive Covid-19

Published July 24, 2020
A paramedic wearing protective gear takes a nasal swab of 103 year-old Abdul Alim, to be tested for the coronavirus at the Aga Khan Health Services Emergency Response Centre in Booni, Chitral. — Photo provided by Reuters
A paramedic wearing protective gear takes a nasal swab of 103 year-old Abdul Alim, to be tested for the coronavirus at the Aga Khan Health Services Emergency Response Centre in Booni, Chitral. — Photo provided by Reuters

A 103-year-old man has recovered from Covid-19 in Pakistan to become one of the oldest survivors of the disease in the world, beating the odds in a country with a weak healthcare system, his relatives and doctors said.

Aziz Abdul Alim, a resident of a village in the mountainous northern district of Chitral, was released last week from an emergency response centre after testing positive in early July.

“We were worried for him given his age, but he wasn't worried at all,” Alim's son Sohail Ahmed told Reuters on the phone from his village, close to the border with China and Afghanistan.

Ahmed quoted his father as saying that he had been through a lot in life and the coronavirus did not scare him. He did however, not like being in isolation.

A carpenter until his 70s, Alim has outlived three wives and nine sons and daughters, said Ahmed, who is himself in his 50s, adding that his father had separated from his fourth wife and is currently married to his fifth.

Abdul Alim, 103, stands with his son Suhail Aziz and staff members wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in this group photograph taken after he recovered from Covid-19 and was discharged from the Aga Khan Health Services Emergency Response Centre in Booni, Chitral. — Photo provided by Reuters
Abdul Alim, 103, stands with his son Suhail Aziz and staff members wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in this group photograph taken after he recovered from Covid-19 and was discharged from the Aga Khan Health Services Emergency Response Centre in Booni, Chitral. — Photo provided by Reuters

Alim also had to be provided with moral and psychological support during his isolation and treatment, Dr Sardar Nawaz, a senior medical officer at the Aga Khan Health Service emergency centre told Reuters on Friday.

The makeshift centre was set up in a girls' hostel just weeks before Alim was brought in and is the only one equipped to deal with Covid-19 patients for miles.

Pakistan has registered more than 270,000 cases of the disease and 5,778 deaths. While the number of people testing positive has dropped over the last month, government officials fear there could be another rise during the Eidul Azha holidays and Muharram.

Opinion

Editorial

Kindness needed
Updated 20 Jun, 2024

Kindness needed

This year’s World Refugee Day theme — solidarity with refugees — includes keeping our borders accessible and addressing the hurdles they face.
Fitch’s budget note
20 Jun, 2024

Fitch’s budget note

PAKISTAN’S ongoing economic crisis is multifaceted. At one end, the government must pursue stabilisation policies...
Cruelty to animals
20 Jun, 2024

Cruelty to animals

TWO recent incidents illustrate the immense cruelty many in this country subject voiceless animals to. In the first...
Price bombs
Updated 18 Jun, 2024

Price bombs

It just wants to take the easy route and enjoy the ride for however long it is in power.
Palestine’s plight
Updated 17 Jun, 2024

Palestine’s plight

While the faithful across the world are celebrating with their families, thousands of Palestinian children have either been orphaned, or themselves been killed by the Israeli aggressors.
Profiting off denied visas
Updated 19 Jun, 2024

Profiting off denied visas

The staggering rejection rates underscore systemic biases in the largely non-transparent visa approval process.