The man who was pronounced as Liberia’s index case of the novel Coronavirus, Nathaniel Blama, has walked out of quarantine center here, after health authorities declared him a healthy man following medication and 21-day observation period, saying that he’s not a victim of the COVID-19 and should not be stigmatized by the public.
Mr. Blama is the suspended executive director of the Environment Protection Agency, who imported the deadly virus from Switzerland in March and became the index case here. President Weah suspended him indefinitely for refusal to be quarantined at the Roberts International Airport upon arrival.
However, he was released by health authorities from quarantine on April 18, 2020 to his family after testing negative and spending 14 extra days of observation.
Blama was certificated by the Ministry of Health along with two others as proof that they have recovered fully and are now negative of the novel corona virus. He is one of seven persons to have recovered from the virus in Liberia so far.
Narrating his ordeal, Blamadetails that when he was contacted by health authorities about his illness, some people projected him as someone who had gone to Europe for the Corona Virus and people attempted attacking him and his home.
Currently, through the Ministry of Justice, armed officers from the Liberia National Police are deployed at his Cabral Estate residence in Monrovia.
Speaking to the NewDawn over the weekend at home, he said being an index case for the country, his first few days in hospital, health workers were very afraid to treat him but later they became friends.
He said the virus comes like a common cold, with extreme coughing that affects both sides of the ribs and causes serious pains in the lungs.
“It starts like a common cold with coughs, sneezing and it treats you like you have four plus malaria. The feeling is bad but the best thing is to seek early medical treatment and early you start the better for you,” he explained.He has since promised to join national awareness campaign here to sensitize the public about the killer virus in across Liberia.
“I rather be stigmatized and live than to die. Stigmatization is a mindset and interestingly, I don’t have such thinking. It is better and great to be perceived as stigmatized and live and the survival can serve as hope to others who are faced with the COVID-19”
Blama has urged citizens to voluntarily avail themselves for testing because according to him, the sooner you know your status, the better it will be.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne