The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, who made the disclosure to newsmen, said that the youngest victim of COVID-19 in the state was a two-month-old baby whose mother was also positive.
Ononye addressed the media in company of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Chiedu Ebie, and the Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu.
He said, however, that the baby and her mother were currently being managed at the Asaba Specialist Hospital Isolation Center, adding that they were stable.
He stressed that being COVID-19 positive was not a death sentence but that people should report cases to the relevant authority for quick intervention.
“The challenge we are facing has been that of stigmatisation and we want the media to speak against this and we must understand that COVID-19 is real and we must observe all the rules,” he said.
According to him, the pandemic is real and government has put some measures in place, including border closure and curfew, to contain the disease.
On his part, the commissioner for information said that the state government was determined to deepen sensitisation to ensure that the people stayed safe.
“The more people we are able to win through sensitisation, the better for us; though it’s a personal responsibility to stay safe, you have to protect the life of others by observing all rules,” Aniagwu said.
“Many people say that COVID-19 is malaria and all sort of claims, but this is not true.
“I live in this country and I know what malaria is like. The trauma and pains associated with COVID-19 is different from those of malaria.
“At first when I had the symptoms of cold and coughing, I thought it was malaria and I was treated for malaria for six days to no avail. In the process I spent about N110, 000 for treatment and testing which yielded no result.
“I was at the isolation centre for 36 days before being discharged; my lung was traumatised. I had cough and difficulty in breathing and was under oxygen for 5 days,” he said.
Eruotor expressed surprise that some people still doubted the existence or reality of the pandemic.
“I was born and brought up in Nigeria and can tell the difference between malaria and COVID-19 disease.
“I am appealing to everybody to observe the rules and I am ready to go through the length and breadth of the state and even to any part of the country to sensitise the people on the danger of COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
Also, Mr Jerry Azinge, a lawyer who tested positive to COVID-19 and was admitted in the treatment centre in Asaba Specialists Hospital, said he spent 18 days in the isolation center where he was treated.
“I was fatigued and had sleeping difficulty at night. I had no cough but I tested positive to coronavirus and had to be in the facility for 18 days before being discharged.
“The treatment was free and I had free meals three times a day in a well-furnished and air conditioned center; I was traumatised by the disease and was lonely.
“The disease is real, though it presents in different ways but I will suggest that anyone with running fever in any hospital for more than seven days should be tested for COVID-19,” he said.