Cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin took to YouTube to urge people to wear masks, sanitise their hands frequently and most importantly, get vaccinated against COVID-19 to tackle the spread of the coronavirus in India. The 34-year-old cricketer took to his YouTube channel to clear misconceptions about the vaccines by sharing his own experience with the virus.
"I talk about the seriousness of the second wave of COVID and about the roller coaster of last few days my family experienced. And also, I stress about the importance of vaccines and how important it is for us to give a better tomorrow for our kids and how vaccines are the only solution for that," he wrote.
In the last week of April, Ashwin had decided to take a break from the then ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), saying that his family is currently "putting up a fight against COVID-19" and he wants to support them. The IPL too was later cancelled, as the bio-bubble that was set up for the staff and players was breached with cases being reported.
In the video posted on May 6, Ashwin shared that his children, his father and even his wife's parents, besides his aunt and uncle, had contracted COVID-19.
Speaking about what his own family went through when his children started showing symptoms, Ashwin said, "I was playing IPL and therefore my wife and my parents didn't inform me. But my kids got severe fever with diarrhoea for 3-4 days. In hindsight, my wife told me that she didn't know what to do and she gave medicines and despite that, the fever didn't reduce."
"My whole family got infected. My father was doing well for the first five days, but then his oxygen levels dropped below 85. He had to get hospitalised since he had trouble breathing. His oxygen levels didn't improve for many days, despite being discharged. My father had taken both doses of the vaccine. He has comorbidities and I can guarantee you that the main reason for us being able to save him is because of the vaccine," he added.
Speaking about how he had observed many people not wearing their masks properly and being careless about COVID-19 safety protocols, he said, "You can be asymptomatic, but you can still cause severe havoc to a family affecting its main breadwinner or even a kid."
He also asked people to spare a thought for doctors and other healthcare professionals who have been at the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19.
"The only way to escape from this coronavirus wave is vaccination alone. No doubts on that whatsoever. Therefore, please do get yourself vaccinated," he added.
Watch the full video below:
A few days ahead of the announcement that he was stepping away from the IPL, Ashwin had tweeted, "Heartbreaking to see what's happening around my country! I am not in the healthcare fraternity, but my sincere gratitude to each of them. I would also like to make an earnest appeal to every Indian to exercise caution and stay safe."
India recorded its highest tally of 4,187 deaths due to COVID-19 in a 24-hour period, along with 4.01 lakh fresh cases, taking the total number of cases in the country to 2.18 crore, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday.