Co-chairman, Board of Trustees BoT of the Pan Niger Delta Forum PANDEF, and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, has called for greater enforcement of COVID-19 regulations to deter people from flouting the protocols, saying violators should be punished for attempted murder.
Attah, who spoke with Vanguard at his Abuja residence, also wondered why it has taken him well over one month to fully recover, having caught the virus on New Year’s Eve.
He said he lost 10kg within three weeks of contracting the virus, saying though he had 17 people in his compound, he remained non-infectious.
Narrating his experience, Victor Attah said he tested negative for the virus even though he had contracted it, explaining how he had to do a Computerized Tomography CT-Scan which showed the effect of the virus on his lungs.
Attah said; “I was in Uyo when I started feeling uneasy on 31st December 2020 and I began asking myself what year will I ascribe to this malaria now? Is it a cross-over malaria since I have malaria-like once in five years because of my genotype? On the 1st of January, I was diagnosed with malaria, which was right. I came to Abuja on 6th January having finished the malaria treatment and the following day I and my wife did the COVID-19 test and it was negative.
So, we did other tests including a CT-Scan which result clearly showed some effects on my lungs and that was when they decided that yes, I had COVID-19. They attributed the negative result to my low viral load and they were right because I sleep on the same bed with my wife and she did not have it because they said the viral load was not enough for me to infect anyone. So, I was isolated in my house and they showed my wife how to fumigate the house and we did that every day.”
He also urged the federal government to ensure that it gets the best of vaccines for Nigerians rather than settling for just anyone.
“My message to Nigerians on the vaccines is that we should respect our government and the efforts that it takes to protect us. And that is why I am surprised that it would be a governor that will make people want to believe that COVID-19 is not real and that the vaccine is something that will kill people. I mean, if you talk like that, do you want us to resort to self-help in medical treatment? We have to respect the experts. People should know that this COVID-19 thing is real and it kills. Some of the people I spoke to just before I went home for Christmas and with whom we had some arrangements, I was just sitting down and hearing that this one had died or that the other one had died too. We do not have to ignore that.
“They must respect this COVID-19 safety protocols. The government should be very severe with enforcement almost like we had during the War Against Indiscipline WAI. If you don’t respect the COVID-19 Protocols, you should be treated as an enemy of the people because you are coming to kill others.
“On the vaccines, the only thing is the government should also ensure that it gets the right ones. I get worried when I hear that this particular vaccine or that one has been evaluated to be 20 per cent effective and that is the one the government is buying. Why don’t we buy the one that has no controversy? Unless that controversy has been resolved and I do not know about it. We also have to store the vaccines properly otherwise the efficacy is lost.
“Also, many people have had COVID-19 and they recovered within five days or less than two weeks, but in my own case, it has taken me over a month to fully get back to normal and in the process, I lost 10 kg in three weeks.
“Patients need support and care. Throughout my ordeal, my governor (Udom Emmanuel) was very sympathetic and helped greatly. COVID-19 has affected my social interaction, to the extent that I could not even attend the burial of my dear friend, Ndongesit Nkanga”, Attah lamented.
Vanguard News Nigeria