Geoffery Onyeama, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, has described how he contracted and survived the COVID-19 infection for three weeks.
Onyeama spoke on Thursday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
The minister who was confirmed positive on July 19 after his fourth COVID-19 test, joined the list of governors and other prominent Nigerians who have contracted the virus.
While some died of the complications of the virus, some survived to tell their stories.
He said: “I have to say that one of the things I was thinking about is that the PTF is like a military high command. It occurred to me that none have been tested positive.
“Maybe it was a good thing that a member of the team can now speak from experience and not just from hearing. COVID-19 is real. I used to have a three layers of protection but it did not stop that.
“I will like to say that the issue of stigmatisation is nothing to be ashamed of. Anybody can get this virus and it is nothing to fear. It is not a death sentence.
“In my case, the moment I felt something different on a Friday, I was tested the following day but we don’t have the capacity.
“I was discussing with the Minister of Health that if people cannot be tested sooner enough, they can recommend some medication. Don’t feel it is anything shameful. Just treat it like any other sickness.”
The minister added: “I will like to use the opportunity to thank the medical crew in the isolation I was staying and very proud that they are Nigerians.
“We can be negative on ourselves but for the three weeks in isolation, I cannot speak more highly of our medical crew. The most agreeable. I could even go back there for weekends. I really congratulate them for the work they did.”