The Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, recently discharged from COVID-19 isolation after testing positive for the virus, has recounted his experience.
Speaking to Channels Television’s “News Across Nigeria”, Aniagwu thanked Deltans and other Nigerians who prayed fervently for his recovery, and explained that he voluntarily went for the test having been in the frontline of sensitisation and enforcement of the state government’s directives on measures to curb spread of the pandemic.
According to him, initially I had thought that for somebody who has been in the centre of the sensitisation in the state, and that I could just go for test to help deal with the issues of prejudices that exist among the people on the reality of the pandemic and the measures.
“As at when I went for the test, I was not even having any symptoms, but between the time I was tested and when the result came out, I lost my sense of smell.
“So, it became obvious that there was something wrong and 24 hours later, the test result came out and it turned out positive and I was instructed on what to do by the medical personnel; they were quite effective.
“They made a number of drugs available and in the course of going through the isolation it became obvious to me that there is a very remarkable difference between COVID-19 and the malaria that we are used to.
“Of course, if you have malaria, you are treated for two or three days and it leaves you or even when you administer one or two drugs, you are off the challenge, and if you have malaria nobody prescribes all sorts of vitamins for you with a view to boosting your immunity and taking stuffs that will make you clear your respiratory track.
“But, that is the prescription for COVID-19 because it is a viral infection that attacks the lungs and your respiratory system and makes it impossible for you to breathe.
“Doctors who kept check on us continued to ensure that we were free in terms of breathing because the moment you begin to have that difficulty it becomes quite challenging.
“Individuals also have various degrees of attack; for some persons it could be mild like mine wasn’t that terrible but for some other persons, it brings them down and it causes a lot of havoc in their respiratory system.
“And, possibly just like the medical personnel have said, if one has co-morbidity or what they call pre-existing health conditions, it becomes quite challenging,’’ he said.
The commissioner observed that early reporting of symptoms helped a long way in saving the situation as the virus may not have caused any havoc.
He said the challenge of trust between the government and the people that had existed over time was not helping matters in the fight against the pandemic.
“The major challenge we have as a country and in Delta is the issue of prejudice; there are some persons that say it is malaria because they have not experienced it, and we pray they don’t experience it for them to believe.
“There are also the issues of religious bigotry where some persons believe that once you pray, there is nothing like COVID-19.
“Yes, prayer is very important like I acknowledged earlier but you don’t see a moving train and begin to put the Lord thy God to test.
“There is also the issue of ignorance and lack of trust that has existed over the years between the government and the people – a situation where somebody will believe that it is because one has been given money and some people even ask me how much was I paid.
“I wonder how much will anybody pay even a governor of a state or the former Chief of Staff to the President for him to have died,” Aniagwu stated.
He announced that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his family were doing quite well, saying they were quite stable and responding to treatment.
“The governor and the first family are doing quite fine to the extent that he was part of the Governors Forum Zoom and the National Economic Council meetings to find solutions to the challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He is doing quite well; I was in touch with him earlier today and he has also given us instructions to ensure that our projects in other sectors, beyond the COVID-19, are carried through.
“This is why we have continued to inspect ongoing projects in the road sector and of course, the control of flooding across the length and breadth of our urban centres,” he added