A British charity worker recovering from a feared second bout of COVID-19 in India was bitten by a highly venomous black king cobra — leaving him paralyzed and blinded in intensive care, according to reports.
Ian Jones, 49, was stuck in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, because of travel restrictions from the pandemic when he fell sick earlier this month — fearing his second battle with the bug, having also been infected in March.
As the cancer survivor was resting off his sickness at his charity’s warehouse, he startled the often-deadly snake — getting bitten twice on the hand, the BBC said.
His son, Seb Jones, told Metro UK that the family “could not believe it” when they heard his dad “suffered what is usually a fatal snakebite” — especially because he has already suffered from malaria and dengue fever along with the earlier coronavirus infection while in India.
“It really has been touch and go,” his son said. “He is stable at the moment although he has paralysis in his legs and blindness, both of which we hope is temporary.”
Jones “remained resolute in his determination” to stay in India to “help the people that needed his support” — even after all his sicknesses, his son insisted. An online fundraiser has raised $12,750 to help with his medical bills and eventually travel home to the UK’s Isle of Wight.
The king cobra — whose scientific name is Ophiophagus hanna — can deliver enough neurotoxin in a single bite to kill an elephant or 20 people, according to National Geographic.
As well as being one of the world’s most venomous snakes, it is also the longest, and can grow to 18-feet long — leaving it able to “stand up” and look a full-grown person in the eye.