Five persons who had tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) were discharged yesterday from the Infectious Diseases Centre, Yaba Mainland Hospital.
The survivors, four males and a female, had been undergoing treatment for two weeks at the facility.
Looking calm and stable, they expressed gladness at receiving a clean bill of health. They were also full of gratitude to the health officials who cared for them, the state government and Governor BabajideSanwo-Olu.
“Coronavirus is not a death sentence. People can survive and I HAVE!” said Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi. The executive director, StandtoEndRape, who took to her Twitter handle, @AyodejiOsowobi, to proclaim her triumph said: “This is another phase of my life and I have won! I celebrate my resilience and strength. Call me SURVIVAYO. I encourage people to get tested and stop the stigma. Practise social distancing and stop the spread.”
She said further: “I thought I was going to die and contemplated a succession plan for StandtoEndRape. I was on drugs daily. Sometimes, I had to take eight tablets in the morning, 13 tablets in the afternoon, 10 at night. My system threw everything out! Water, food, soap and all disgusted me. But I had to look at the wall and force myself to stay hydrated. I fought to live! I fought!!”
She also had a word of advice: “To every young person out there, please, give your lungs a chance to beat this. Can I encourage you to stop smoking and live a healthy life at this time? A healthy lung is key! The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and state governments need to improve their testing capacity. Test mild/asymptomatic cases too.”
Reacting to the news of the discharge, Sanwo-Olu said: “It is another pointer to us that with a concerted effort, we can defeat the coronavirus in Lagos and Nigeria.”
This came as Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. “I just received my COVID-19 test result. It is positive. I am asymptomatic and will continue to self-isolate,” Makinde said via his Twitter handle.
Also, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) yesterday followed the steps of President Donald Trump of the United States by ordering the manufacturing of chloroquine for clinical trials on COVID-19.
Chloroquine, an old antimalarial drug, was first tested in vitro (in the lab) using standard assays to measure the effects on the cytotoxicity, virus yield and infection rates of COVID-19. The drug was reported to function as antiviral at both the entry and post-entry stages of COVID-19 infection. Chloroquine has also recently been reported as a potential broad-spectrum antiviral drug.
The pandemic, meanwhile, could give the South-East and South-South and South-West regions of the country a heavy beating unless key health facilities are functional.
South-East governors, for instance, had met in 2018 and planned to build an ultra-modern specialised hospital in Enugu, to cater for the health needs of the zone.
The hospital, according to Dave Umahi, chairman of the governors’ forum and Ebonyi State governor, would end medical tourism in the region and boast of facilities equal to none in the country.
Months after the promise, the site for the proposed structure remains an illusion while talks about its grandeur have ceased. But beyond being an unsettling metaphor of poor commitment to health by the region’s governors, the confirmation of COVID-19 cases in the South East could soon reveal a shocking state of unpreparedness.