By Ignatius Ushie
The Hon. Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, on Monday, narrated her ordeal with Covid1-9, saying she survived the scourge in four days. She gave the hint at a brief reception ceremony organised in her honour by her ministry to celebrate her survival and also mark her birthday which took place while she was away.
According to the Minister, she checked into Asokoro Isolation centre on December 26 and was certified negative on December 30, 2020, being among the fastest to recover from the deadly scourge.
She said “I was not coughing but there was pain all over. And when I took malaria medicine I started vomiting. So my children arranged for a test and when it came out it was positive. When I got to the hospital, the doctors were asking is it you or someone else? I said I am the one. They said this one will not last here with us. I went in there on the evening of 26 December, and by 30th a team came to take sample of those that have been there for long, and the consultant insisted that he had been observing me since I came, that they need to test me again.
“Normally every evening, I came down to do my exercise. So on that day, as I came down from the lift, everybody, the nurses, doctors everybody started shouting congratulations. I said what happened and they said the result is out and I am negative. I started dancing. I recovered within four days. No one has gone in and come out within four days”.
Tallen appreciated God that even though she had many people around her, children, grandchildren and domestic staff, none except her tested positive to the Covid-19.
The Minister noted that God may have used the Covid-19 to force her to take rest, adding that at the time the accumulated stress was already too much on her.
On the appointment of the Perm Sec, Tallen particularly thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for sending a like-minded person as a Permanent Secretary, in the person of Mrs. Anthonia Akpabio Ekpa, PhD, whom she said had creditably held forth for her while she was away.
“The way the Perm Sec spoke when we met, I could see we share a lot. The passion is there, the commitment is there. When you have the right person at the right place half of your job is done” she stated.
Tallen who confessed to being emotional about the surprise welcome organized in her honour, said Covid-19 has tried and failed, and urged Nigerians to be careful, warning that Covid-19 is real and that people should always endeavour to adhere and observe the protocols to avoid the spread in the country.
Earlier, Mrs. Anthonia Akpabio Ekpa, Permanent Secretary, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, conveyed the joy of all the workers of the ministry on the survival of the Minister.
She thanked God for sparing the life of the Minister from the scourge of Covid-19, stressing that the word of God is fulfilled in the Mrs. Tallen’s life. “We thank God for making the Minister leave that sick room in such a short while” she said.
On hand to welcome the Minister were Mrs. Mary Ekpere-Eta, the Director General, National Center for Women Development, the House Committee Chairperson of Women Affairs, Otunba Wunmi Onanuga, Directors and Management Staff of the Ministry among others.