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Demystification Of The Deadly COVID-19 Pandemic - The Governor Umahi's Style

Though we, Nigerians, have this tendency to forget so easily, l believe we still remember that exactly two weeks ago today, the Ebonyi State Governor, Engr Dave Umahi, was reported to have tested positive to the deadly & feared global pandemic, COVID 19. It was breaking news carried by all the major electronic/print media in the country & beyond. The social media was not left out, they had field days in their reporting it & went really viral with the news. 

The Gov later confirmed his COVID status to the media that same day. That was, l believe, the last people heard or saw him in the last two weeks. He is just one of the many sitting state Governors, ex-state Governors, world leaders & prominent citizens, who had tested positive to COVID in recent times. Some, unfortunately, lost the battle with the virus.

The news was a rude shock to so many who know & admire him as an all-conquering, amiable leader & for his unprecedented achievements in Ebonyi state. The people panicked & prayed fervently for his survival, while those who are close & around the Gov was not panicked or surprised that he was finally infected with the virus after all. He loves, works, wines & dines with people around him at all times.

The Gov's often physical closeness or direct contacts with his people, at all levels; whether with market men or women, his workers on the many construction sites that adorn the state, with local farmers in their village farms, civil servants, in exco meetings, with his cabinet, known to have the largest number of members, about 300 or more & comprising people from all ethnic groups in Nigeria, his personal aides, exercise partners, he is a work-out freak, & his friends etc 

Indeed his lifestyle exposed him to the danger of being very vulnerable & at a high risk of being infected with the virus. Though he knew he was risking getting the virus, he was warned by the medical team fighting the virus & who are in constant daily briefings with him, but he was helpless & couldn't stop working the only way he knew, with the people around him. 

When it finally happened, both Gov Umahi & his personal aides were, in fact, not panicked, but remained calm. They saw & knew it was a situation that waited to come & took it in good faith. The Gov was paying the price for the huge crowd always around him as the most celebrated leader in the southeast, in particular & among the bests in the country today. The facts of this claim are verifiable.

Immediately his COVID positive status was officially established, both the excellent, state-of-the-art medical facilities & team Gov Umahi had put in place since COVID & assembled respectively, to fight the virus in the state, raised the alert level & were ready & very prepared to start treating him. They efficiently, effectively & excellently did as was expected, to justify the state's huge investment in that sector. I hail them. 

The Gov, a strict conformist to the tenets of democracy & rule of law, immediately handed over to his Deputy & quickly went into self-isolation, as required by the COVID safety/treatment protocols.

While In isolation, which was, of course right there in Abakaliky, the state capital, the Gov never really stopped attending to very important matters that required his personal attention, agent or stopped functioning in his usual exercise routines, using or responding to his phone & giving important, standard professional directives/instructions & advise to his Engineers in the field. 

As expected, Gov Umahi went through his detection, treatment, recovery very quietly, easily, efficiently, progressively with no reported case of complications or issues & devoid of the usual media hype, speculations or controversy, always associated with most high profile cases in this country. 

As the story will rightly go, if there was one high profile potential person, expected to be infected with COVID 19 due to his very active & carefree lifestyle of constant association or contacts with people, Gov Umahi was the one. Also if there was any high profile, significant/ highly exposed person, expected to demystify coronavirus as mere high fever, recover from it quietly, in record time & without disrupting any scheduled activity, Gov Umahi was the one. Another record!!!

Finally, it is important to state here, some factors that made the difference in the infection, treatment & record recovery/survival of Gov Dave Umahi, very significant & amazing; the best medical facilities for testing, quickest test result time, contact tracing, treatment, recovery, survival & qualified medical personnel, in the south-east & among the best in the country, are in Ebonyi state. 

Some reasons why it is widely believed, by many, that the virus was not likely going to devastate or claim many lives in Ebonyi state are that; apart from having an effective detection & treatment strategy, attention is given to details to ensure that all possible contacts to infected persons are traced & tested immediately, once a case of COVID infection is established. That's the key, in Europe & the US in handling the pandemic. 

States like Ebonyi, were already close to achieving a COVID free status before borders were re-opened by the federal government. The new influx of people from Abuja & Lagos, the two epicentres down to the east for burials & other functions, have been noted as the reason for the spike or surge. This situation will, no doubt, stretch & overwhelm the existing facilities. Very unfortunate indeed.

Notable & commendable they were, in the case of Gov Umahi, records were carefully kept & updated of all those who had contacts with him, including this writer, who was contacted immediately his test came out positive & were requested to either come down to Ebonyi for test or test for COVID wherever they were. My test result was out, negative, in less than 48 hours, instead of the usual 14 days. A record anywhere. 

This is to thank God for being there & congratulate Gov Dave Umahi on his overcoming the situation in record time. 

Ebonyi State Is Working!!!! 

Dave Agwalla.

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