The Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has recounted his ordeal with the deadly COVID-19.
Ikpeazu tested positive for the disease five weeks ago and was treated in Abuja.
Speaking in an interview released on Wednesday, the governor said his symptoms were breathlessness and mild cough.
While thanking the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) team, he explained that his battle with the disease was not a bad experience.
He noted that the NCDC team who treated him were experienced and had a proper understanding of the disease.
“About five weeks ago, I started experiencing fever in the evenings and I had anti-malaria just in case it was malaria but I started becoming breathless with mild cough.
“Unfortunately, we ran a COVID-19 test but it came negative but my illness was getting worse. We arrived Abuja for further medical attention and I ran another coronavirus test and it was positive. Initially, I was shocked, but I was also happy that I knew the reason behind the symptoms that were intractable. I thank God we took it from there and the rest his history.
“Naturally, there was confusion because everyone around me, from my steward, my driver and cook had to undergo COVID-19 test
but we handled it.
Ikpeazu, while noting that the disease was not a death sentence, appreciated traditional rulers, elder statesmen, politicians and pastors who prayed and cared for him.
“ I knew from the onset that COVID-19 was very serious but it wasn’t a death sentence. I think the critical thing is early diagnosis because if it is allowed to remain in your system for a long while it can be devastating.
He, therefore, reiterated the untiring efforts of his government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease and thanked medical personnel for their professionalism despite the deadly pandemic.
“We are going to leverage on what we have. The aim is to test one-third of members of our population, and we are going to use the existing templates for immunization, leveraging on the 774 primary health care we have across Abia and increase testing.
“We have two testing centers, one is coming next week, and we are expecting two others to come through FMC and Michael Okpara University. For us to do this, we need to train more people, more doctors, more nurses and invest in face mask, sanitizers and all we need to support those in the front line.
“Beyond all of these, we must try to get the private hospital working with NCDC, to accredit private hospitals that are willing and have capacity to support the treatment because we are expecting a spike as we increase testing.
“We have to create a robust COVID-19 management apparatus which will involve the traditional rulers. We have to come with something that is acceptable for churches, burial and schools. There is no need for crowd at this era.”
The Governor, therefore, warned that COVID-19 was real and everyone must take responsibility to tackle the disease.
“ I just want to say COVID-19 is real. Anyone coming with a contrary story making it to look like a myth or superstition cannot help our cause at this hour. COVID-19 is real, and we can get out of it together, we all have to take responsibility.
“Responsibility for your personal hygiene, washing of hands regularly, practicing social distancing, use of hand sanitizer and staying at home if you do not have any business outside.
“You have to be careful where you touch, cultivate the habit of using face mask because it has become the new normal. The earlier we pull together to defeat coronavirus, the better for us, no government can do it alone.”
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