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VIP-survivors, casualties of COVID-19 pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic claimed its biggest victim in the country yesterday. The Chief Of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, who reportedly contracted the disease while on an official assignment to Germany, lost the battle from complications arising from the virus. GBENGA AKINFENWA spotlights other high profile personalities who tested positive to the pandemic but later survived.

Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed
On Monday, March 23, the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed went into self-isolation after he reportedly had contact with the son of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who was earlier tested positive to the disease.

The Governor met with Atiku’s son on the flight while on his way to Bauchi from Lagos, where both men shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.Though he did not show any symptoms of the disease at the time, his blood samples were taken and sent to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for a test. The result was positive while that of others who took the test with him, including his family and aides, came out negative.

He was eventually discharged on Thursday, April 9, and given a clean bill of health by the NCDC, barely three weeks after he begun his treatment. His discharge was due to the result of his second and final sample test, which came out earlier in the day.

Shortly after his discharge, Mohammed said: “I went through hell while in isolation for treatment. I felt like I was alone. But the love, affection and prayers shown to me by the people of Bauchi State really kept me going. I cannot hide my health status, but if by doing so I have offended anyone, I apologise for that. It was really a trying time for me. Glory to God that I was able to pass the test.

“The situation was made worse with the kidnap of my elder brother but we thank God for his release. I have learnt a great lesson during this period and it has further strengthened me and souring me to do more for the people of Bauchi State.”

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde
ON April 5, the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde recovered and was discharged after recovering from the Coronavirus infection. The development came after his second negative test result, coming after one week in isolation. 

Makinde became the third Governor tested positive on March 30. While breaking the news in a statement on his verified Twitter handle, Makinde disclosed he was tested positive for coronavirus and he was in self-isolation. 

“I just received my COVID-19 confirmation test result,” he tweeted. “It is POSITIVE. I am asymptomatic and will continue to self-isolate.” He also disclosed that he consumed Vitamin C, carrots and black seed oil mixed with honey in boosting his immune system to overcome the virus while in isolation. “We have been advocating for local solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic in Oyo state,” Makinde said in a Facebook post.

“So as a COVID-19 survivor, I volunteered to donate my blood to be studied by our experts researching on the “Evaluation of Post Infection Protection Against SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) in Nigeria.”

“My very good friend and brother, Dr. Muyideen Olatunji, in charge of the Primary Healthcare for Oyo State. He came to me and said, look, I am going to send to you this black seed oil, it boosts immunity,” said.

“So I mix it with honey and take one teaspoon in the morning and one in the evening. So, there are local solutions to boost immunity. So, our people should not fret. They shouldn’t fret. Just as I have been able to get the virus out of my system, so will it be for majority of our people.”

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai
HAVING being tested positive on March 28, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai is still under intensive care. Last Wednesday, the Governor who gave an update on his status said he is yet to recover from the disease.

The governor gave the update after chairing the Kaduna State Executive Council meeting.While giving the update via his Twitter handle, El-Rufai pledged to make his status public whenever he recovers from the disease

“Earlier Wednesday 10am-2pm, I took a few hours during isolation to chair a virtual meeting of the State Executive Council.“I haven’t been cleared of COVID-19 yet and (I) will personally announce when confirmed negative. Ignore all fake news even if you like it.”

Chief Medical Director, UCH, Jesse Otegbayo
BARELY one week after he was tested positive, the Chief Medical Director of University College Hospital (UCH), Jesse Otegbayo, tested negative on April 3, after undergoing another test.

Otegbayo had reportedly tested positive on Sunday, through a statement he personally signed .However, four days later, the hospital announced that a new test carried out came out negative.The Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Toye Akinrinlola, in a statement on Thursday, April 2, noted that the sample taken on Tuesday, March 31, came out negative.

“I have the pleasure to announce that the repeat test of the UCH CMD, Professor Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo has returned negative. He had earlier tested it positive to the COVID- 19 Virus last Friday.

“Otegbayo had on Sunday personally said in a statement that he tested positive for COVID- 19 and admonished all those who had contact with him to go on self-quarantine.

“However, his samples were taken again on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Today, at about 3 p.m., the result came out negative.” Akinrinlola also disclosed that the results of the provost and deputy provost of the college of medicine, University of Ibadan, Ezekiel Olapade-Olaopa and Obafunke Denloye, were negative for COVID-19 after second tests.

Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Comptroller General, Muhammed Babandede
THE news of Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammed Babandede’s status was made public on Sunday, March 29, when it was revealed that he has tested positive. Public Relations Officer (PRO) of NIS, Sunday James, said the NIS boss had been on self-isolation after his return from the United Kingdom.

Babandede had submitted his sample for screening after his self-isolation and the result came out positive. According to the statement, Babandede is strictly adhering to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines while directing the affairs of the service online, while the Deputy Comptroller-General (DCG) oversees the administration of the agency.

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“The Nigerian immigration community will continue to deliver on its mandate to the nation, even in this trying times as we pray the whole world gets over it,” he stated.

But on Tuesday, April 14, he reportedly tested negative twice for the virus after self-isolating. Babandede who made this known via his Twitter handle, described his recovery as a victory from God.

He said, “I just received my second negative report on COVID-19, I will like to thank all of you for your supplications. This victory is from God; we thank Him for giving me the opportunity to have an experience, which is more than my education and public service.

“I am sincerely worried about how Nigerians suddenly remember that they are big men when they arrived in Nigeria after passing through airport clearance in other parts of the world! I always lined up when I return. We will enforce the law.”

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