After testing positive to COVID-19 and isolated for treatment, 36-year-old Mr Abubakar Jauro, who hails from Mubi in Adamawa state now has much to say about fighting and surviving the disease.
“My 14-day sojourn in Adamawa Specialist Hospital isolation centre changed my perception about COVID-19,” says Abubakar.
It all started as a joke when on the 26th of April 2020, Abubakar woke up a with fever and a headache. Thinking it could not be Covid-19 as he didn’t believe the virus was real, he shrugged off the symptoms, took his breakfast and went about his business. But his symptoms only grew worse.
“As the day went on, my condition deteriorated as I lost my sense of taste and had difficulty in breathing until my wife took the bold step of calling the toll-free for COVID-19 response. Even then, I persisted in my perception that COVID-19 was a scam by the international organizations and western countries until I stepped into the isolation centre. But after 14 days of eye-opening experience at the isolation centre, my perception about COVID-19 changed as well as my status (has changed). More so, I have been declared a hero today by the Adamawa state government.”
Adamawa, in northeast Nigeria, confirmed its index case of COVID-19 on the 21st April 2020 – a 47-year-old journalist who had travelled to Kano, one of the high-risk states. Since then, the state has been on the radar of COVID-19 outbreak in the region. As of 16th June 2020, Adamawa confirmed 42 positive cases of COVID-19 out of 374 suspects tested for the disease across the state. Abubakar Jauro is one of the 42 positive cases who said his time at the isolation, which started on the 26 April 2020, opened his eyes to the reality of COVID-19.
At the launch of the “heroes’ campaign”, which aims to recognize and designate survivors as heroes and heroines, in Yola, Adamawa state on 16th June 2020, the Commissioner for Health and Human Services Professor Abdullahi Isa, acknowledged that the case fatality ratio in Adamawa is high, but said it could have been worse except for the dedication of the healthcare workers on one side and the cooperation of people suspected to be positive. “Although our case fatality ratio at 9.5% is above the national average of 2.5%, it could have been worse if not for the commitment and courage of our healthcare workers who have put their lives on the front burner to save all of us, coupled with the cooperation of suspected cases, especially those who reported to the centre by themselves.”
On his part, WHO State Coordinator, Iyobosa Igbinovia said, “Despite your current negative status, you still need to observe preventive etiquettes including regular hand washing under running water with soap or use of hand sanitizers, social distancing of at least two metres, covering of cough and sneezes, using a face mask and avoiding crowded areas.”
WHO and partners are still exploring and studying the novel coronavirus and much remains unknown about COVID-19.
Consequently, facts and myths are thriving as much as the virus. Many disbelieve the reality and even accuse the government and partners of mischief. Abubakar used to be one of them, but his experience has made a believer of him. “Now I know better and believe that COVID-19 is real but can be prevented if one practices recommended respiratory etiquettes, maintains social distancing and uses face masks.”