A member of the National Youth Service Corps, Ikeche Emeka, has narrated how he could not tell his mother that he was infected with the coronavirus.
Emeka, whose story was retweeted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control via its Twitter handle, shared a story of how a 66-year-old COVID-19 patient died six hours after admission.
He explained that he contracted the virus while serving in a health facility in Warri, Delta State.
According to him, his mother believes that having COVID-19 is a death sentence so it was difficult to inform her until he recovered.
“I am a youth corps member serving in a health facility in Warri, Delta State. A house officer and some colleagues were involved in the treatment of a patient who later tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, the patient died. The entire team involved in treating the patient got tested for COVID-19 and the house officer’s result was positive.
“Before the death of the patient, the House Officer already crossed over to my department (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) for his next posting. Upon the House Officer’s test confirmation, my entire department also got tested. The two-day waiting period for the result of the test was filled with tension.
“The results were out, and I tested positive. The only symptom I had was a mild sore throat.
The night I was evacuated from my apartment to the isolation centres was very dramatic as my gateman kept asking me, as I was entering the ambulance if I had COVID-19.
“Many people including my mother thinks it is a death sentence. I knew how my mother and siblings would react to the news, so I told only my father and a few colleagues at work. Eight days after my admission at the centre, I took another test and I was positive. I felt so bad, I didn’t eat that day.”
The corps member described his experience in the isolation centre as frustrating, warning Nigerians to discard the belief that COVID-19 does not exist.
“After two negative tests, I finally got discharged. I spent 17 days at the isolation centre. It was quite frustrating as I was used to freedom and suddenly got restricted to a defined space.
“I remember a 66-year-old COVID-19 patient whose condition was quite bad. He was placed on a ventilator and given oxygen, but these could only do so much. He died barely six hours after admission. Many still don’t believe coronavirus is real. Some do not believe it kills.
“Many people infected with the virus may develop mild symptoms or may even be asymptomatic. Some may infect others while they do not even know they have the disease. Unfortunately, the brunt will be borne by the elderly, immunocompromised persons, or persons with underlying ailments. I pray Nigerians to heed to the NCDC guidelines and stay safe especially for the vulnerable ones.”
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