A journalist, Kabir Anwar, is the index case of Covid-19 in Yola, Adamawa State, where he works. In this short interview, Anwar tells his story from how he was infected to when he tested negative.
What ailment were you treating before you tested positive to Covid-19?
Cough, fever, body weakness, I also had shortness of breath before then which I did not treat.
Did you move close to VIPs in Kano before you took ill? What kinds of VIP?
No I did not have contact with VIPs when in Kano.
How did you manage the ailment for weeks before you returned to Yola?
I was treated for fever, cough, body weakness but coughing persisted
The virus actually exists in Nigeria and those who survived it know it is different from ordinary flu
Did you wife/children/family member get infected?
My aunty and her husbands tested positive about two weeks after.
Under what circumstances were you tested?
The health officers advised me to be tested, I did not mind and I voluntarily agreed.
How did you feel when you saw your result as positive? [Were you given the result?]
I was not shocked because after the test I knew the outcome would be either positive or negative. I was informed on the phone, I did not see the result.
What thoughts went through your mind? Fear? Anxiety? Worry?
I was calm and took it as a trial from God.
Did you contact any of your personal doctors in Yola when you tested positive?
No, I felt there was no need.
Where were you isolated? What were the facilities there? How many healthcare workers attended to you?
I was isolated at the Covid-19 Isolation Center in Yola. I was attended to by two to three doctors and two nurses per shift and there were other health workers around.
What were the initial treatments? Did you have to buy your drugs or what drugs did they give to you?
I was given multi vitamins, vitamin C, for free and encouraged to take alot of water.
How was your daily routine? Waking up, breakfast, lunch, contact with doctors etc?
I woke up around 5 am to perform morning prayers, read some religious books, check the internet and take breakfast around 10. Then nurses would come around and later doctors, I prayed around 1:30, take lunch and pray again at 4 pm., make phone calls and check the internet. I pray alot at night.
What symptoms did you manifest? Shortness of breath/cough/fever/catarrh/etc?
Mild shortness of breath, cough, catarrh, mild fever, body weakness, loss of appetite and lastly sore throat.
What were the worst moments during the isolation period? How were they handled?
I can’t say, because I had had an unusual composure and being the first patient, i got all the attention from my handlers.
How did you related with your family during the period?
We spoke on phone at least twice daily when I reassured them that I was stable and the sickness was curable.
Who were the doctors that cared for you most, and how did they do it?
Dr. Phillip was the resident doctor who was often around.
How did your faith in God help you?
It gave me strength and helped me leave everything to God. I believed God would answer my prayers and see me through.
Apart from drugs, what was your diet, or routine like? What drugs did you take mainly?
Tuwo rice or Semo with egusi or vegetable soup, fried rice or white rice and stew, chicken parts, beef, fruits.
At what point did you begin to experience a relief?
When I regained appetite for food.
How was the healing process?
It was slow but steady. I regained appetite in few days, then my sleep hours increased, and finally the coughing stopped.
How were you discharged, and how did your friends/family members react? Were some afraid of you? Did you face stigmatization?
After testing negative twice, the doctor told me I was going home the next day. Five of us were discharged at a time after a brief ceremony.
Freely comment on your experience, especially your advice to Nigerians about Covid-19.
Nigerians should strictly observe all safety protocols to stay safe and ignore rumors that Covid 19 does not exist. The virus actually exists in Nigeria and those who survived it know it is different from ordinary flu.