Covid-19 survivors speak out

Covid-19 survivors speak out

MASERU-AT almost every hospital in the country, patients showing signs of Covid-19 are wheeled in being daily.
“Am I going to survive?” many of them ask.

With figures of Covid-19 related deaths rising in recent weeks, alarm bells are ringing and many of those who test positive for the virus, or even just remotely feel some of its symptoms, fear for the worst.
The latest statistics from the National Covid-19 Secretariat (Nacosec) show that 85 people have died of Covid-19 since April last year.
According to Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro, the death rate has risen four times since last week.

Critics say the figures are being downplayed, claiming many more cases are going unrecorded.
Yet, amid the trepidation, many more people are surviving the virus, although the rates of recoveries still need to be improved.
According to the Nacosec statistics, out of 5 203 positive people only 1 572 have recovered.
thepost tracked Basotho who got infected and survived. Below are their stories:

Advocate Teboho Mojapela, 50, leader of Socialist Revolutionary (SR).
When Advocate Mojapela was invited for a ‘world class party” in Bloemfontein in October last year, he never thought the event would be the source of his misery.
Contracting Covid-19 was the last thing on his mind.
All seemed well at first.

“I did not feel sick immediately after returning from the party,” he says.
He says he was in Cape Town soon after the party when he began experiencing a cough and “some discomfort” so he visited a pharmacy for some medication, thinking it was a simple flu.
It was after his return from Cape Town that the signs really kicked in, as his health deteriorated.
“My sense of smell was completely gone. I could not taste bitter or sweet foods.”
“It was moving from bad to worse.”

He rushed to a nearby hospital, got tested and the result came positive for Covid-19.
“That did not shock me. My response was to quickly develop a positive mindset.”
He says his bodyguard and a worker at home also tested positive, and they all began their journey to recovery.

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Often, people would chip in with all sorts of advice, some of it wild.
“People who get infected are frustrated by a myriad of advice they get after testing positive. These people would stress you.”
As a political leader, he decided to make his status public to encourage others that they can beat the disease.

“I am not a coward. I am a leader,” says Adv Mojapela, criticising the government for what he said was a poor response to the pandemic.
“People are dying and this is negligence on the part of government,” Adv Mojapela says.
The government has previously responded to such criticism by saying it is trying its best and has deployed an array of resources to manage the virus outbreak.

Bofihla ’Neko is a stand-up comedian popularly known as Lilaphalapha.
’Neko tried prayers, church rituals and local herbs.
It all failed to work, until he went to see a doctor.
’Neko was called to perform with two of his colleagues in Qwa-Qwa, South Africa, in December.

The show never went ahead, but the invitation possibly led him to contract Covid-19.
He says the group had tests done in Lesotho but South African port officials at the Butha-Buthe border post were not convinced and wanted to verify the authenticity of the tests before allowing them in.
“We were kept in a room where people kept entering and leaving while we waited,” he says.

’Neko says they decided to cancel their trip, but the horror was just starting.
While at home a few days after the ordeal at the border, he woke up one morning feeling sick.
“I felt like vomiting.”

At first, he thought it was because of the fish he had eaten.
“I even made a post on Facebook saying I was poisoned by a fish I had eaten. I later deleted it,” he says.
As a church goer, he says he woke up conducting some of his church rituals in a bid for divine intervention.

The next day, he visited a radio station but he felt uncomfortable as he was sweating profusely.
He says he also had a severe headache.
“I tried some local herbs. It all came to naught. After two weeks I told myself that I had to see a doctor,” he says.
“The doctor said he could tell that I was Covid-19 positive by merely looking at me,” he says. “I tested positive.”
’Neko says he was given some medication and his health started to improve.

“I was able to sleep better that night.”
He says he was ordered to stay in isolation for two weeks.
A day later, he was asked to see a doctor for a check-up.
His advice is that Basotho should confirm their status with medical doctors than taking things into their own hands.

“Being a Covid patient is a traumatic experience. People should seek medical attention as soon as they feel the symptoms.”
A positive attitude is also key to survival, he says.
“When people get their results, they become sick and their lives deteriorate,” he says.

Majara Molupe

Previous Covid battle: bullets are flying
Next Brace for the worst, Majoro warns

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