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Doctors Express Shock as 114-Year-Old Man Recovers From COVID-19


Doctors in Ethiopia express shock as Aba Tilahun Woldemichael, an Ethiopian man who is believed to be between 100 – 114 years old, recovers from coronavirus.

His family says he is 114, which would make him the world’s oldest man, but there is no birth certificate to confirm his age.

People over the age of 80 are considered to be among the most vulnerable if they catch the virus.

The centenarian is now being looked after at home by his grandson.

Aba Tilahun tested positive for the virus when a random screening process took place in his neighbourhood in the capital, Addis Ababa, and was admitted to hospital before the symptoms showed, Dr Hiluf Abate told the BBC’s Newsday programme.

This allowed the doctors and medical team to be pro-active with its treatment and closely monitor the old man, he added.

Within four days of his admission to the severe coronavirus ward in Yeka Kotebe hospital, Aba Tilahun’s condition deteriorated as the virus took hold and he was put on oxygen, Dr Hiluf said.

In all he spent 14 days at the hospital, and was treated with oxygen for more than a week.

Ethiopia, which has strict coronavirus restrictions, has recorded more than 5,000 confirmed cases and 81 deaths.

Although Yeka Kotebe cannot confirm that its patient is 114 years old, the doctors say that he is definitely older than 100 and has estimated that he is 109.

In his youth, he moved to Addis Ababa from southern Ethiopia when he was young and has lived through tumultuous times in his country.

He witnessed the Italian occupation between 1935 and 1941, the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974, the collapse of the Marxist Derg regime in 1991 and now he has survived Covid-19.

For years he has lived a simple life as a monk with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. “Aba” is a title meaning “Father”.

But when he was younger he worked as an electrician, house painter and general handyman, his 24-year-old grandson said.

His grandfather was doing well and looked healthy despite his age, however the after-effects of the virus had weakened his voice, Mr Binyam added.

In order to curb the spread of coronavirus, Ethiopia introduced a state of emergency in April that closed schools and playgrounds, banned large gatherings and sporting events, and reduced passenger numbers on public transport. But businesses have remained open.

Meanwhile, it was earlier reported that two patients from a nursing home at the epicentre of the US’s coronavirus crisis appear to have made a recovery after having initially been tested positive for the disease.

In a rare piece of good news on a day when the global number of deaths from Covid-19 passed 11,000 and the total number of infections soared to 260,000, a spokesman for the Seattle area care home said two patients who tested positive, had taken a second test after days of hospital treatment and were now considered negative.

“It’s wonderful news for us,” Tim Killian, a spokesperson for the Life Care Centre of Kirkland said.


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