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I contracted COVID-19 from eating with people, not observing social distancing –Owode, Osun agency boss

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Dr Isiaka Owode is the Executive Chairman, Education Quality Assurance and Morality Enforcement Agency in Osun State. The 66-year-old, who recently survived the coronavirus, shares his experience with BOLA BAMIGBOLA
How does it feel being a COVID-19 survivor?

It is not a death sentence. That is one thing people should take away. Once all the symptoms are treated, you are back to yourself. I thank God. I’m out of the place (isolation centre) now. I thank the healthcare personnel. It started like a normal fever, body ache, cold, etc., and I was treated for fever. After three to four days, the symptoms persisted and it was getting worse, with severe difficulty breathing, which is a major symptom of COVID-19. By that time, I was invited to the isolation centre at Asubiaro, Osogbo. But before then, I had done the test, and on Saturday (July 11, 2020) morning, it came out positive. I thank God because I have got over it. The health officials were well-prepared for it. Everything needed at the intensive care unit was there — oxygen, complete medication, etc. They started with the administration of medication and I was placed on oxygen.

How many days did you spend at the isolation centre?

I spent four days there before I was told I was fit and well enough to go home and was also given some more medication. I would advise our people, especially the elderly ones and people with underlying health issues like diabetes, cancer, asthma and high blood pressure, not to be careless with their health. COVID-19 is not malaria. What it does, especially in the area of difficulty in breathing, malaria does not do that. Malaria only weakens the body, causes loss of appetite and others, but this one (COVID-19) targets the lungs. Gradually, the oxygen intake, which should be around 95 to 96, begins to reduce to 60 to 64. At that point, one begins to struggle to breathe. I didn’t know the state hospital, Asubiaro, was that well-equipped and the caregivers were fantastic. They showed due care and courtesy; they would encourage you to eat and take your drugs, which is crucial because the loss of appetite is another outcome of (COVID-19).

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