• Sunday, June 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Nigeria’s foreign minister, Onyeama, speaks on experience with COVID-19

Travel agencies responsible for migration of Nigerian ladies to Lebanon – Envoy

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, has reiterated what has been echoed over and again by survivors of COVID-19 – that the virus is real and that it is not a death sentence.

To buttress the point, Onyeama said some have died from complications arising from the virus, while some others have survived to tell their stories.

He said this on Thursday in Abuja while narrating his experience with COVID-19 during the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

The minister joined the list of governors and other prominent Nigerians who have contracted the virus after he was confirmed positive on July 19 following his fourth COVID-19 test. He battled the virus for three weeks before he was tested negative.

“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 three layers of protection but it did not stop that,” Onyeama said.

He said stigmatisation of those who have been tested positive for the virus was uncalled-for as there was 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,” he said.

Onyeama thanked the medical crew in the isolation centre where he stayed, saying he was 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,” he said.