Mike Bulpitt, who has worked with Mr Jones for six years, revealed the dad-of-two from Ryde, in the Isle of Wight, said the snake bite “exacerbated” his coronavirus symptoms.
“He was already feeling a little under the weather before the bite which, without treatment, you can die from within 30 minutes.
“The venom from the bite can kill an elephant, and it must have allowed the virus to re-establish itself.
“The snake bite caused the Covid symptoms to exacerbate, and he fell in and out of a coma for the next two or three days.
“We are less worried about the Covid – it is the bite that is worrying us more, now.”
Mr Bulpitt said his friend had always been fond of India, adding: “Ian loves India and its cultures, and even speaks a bit of Hindi.
“He is a very passionate individual. Very social minded and driven, with such a community spirit.
“He chose to stay there instead of returning home because the people there needed more help than him.”
Mr Jones’ wife and two sons said they “don’t know what the future holds” for him.