Akinyosoye: I can’t get Covid19 result after 3 weeks
Says Nigeria has failed, can't win Covid19 fight
A 67-year-old Ibadan-based businessman, Mr Omololu Akinyosoye has lamented that three weeks after going for Covid19 test, he is still waiting for the result.
In this interview with Punch, Mr. Akinyosoye lamented that he was told that one needs to bribe his way to get the result of one’s Covid19 test.
Read excerpts of the interview with Akinyosoye below:
“I had a friend who died of COVID-19 and I had contact with him three or four days before he died. My late friend had thought he had malaria, but it was when he got to hospital that he was told that he had COVID-19. He died about three days later.
“So, I thought to myself that it would be best to get tested so that I could save my life in case I had been infected.
“Since I lived in Ibadan, I put a call through to the Oyo State COVID-19 emergency number and I was asked to go get tested immediately and that was what I did.”
“I had the test precisely on June 18, 2020. I did it at the Jericho Specialist Hospital, Ibadan.”
“There was a canopy outside, where we were attended to. The place looked untidy. There was no professionalism. There was disorder there. In fact, there was no privacy for any patient.
“You would just be called upon and you would have to reveal your medical history, phone number and home address to the hearing of everyone. Everyone could pretty much hear about your medical history. I disagreed with them over this approach and I was given a form to fill.”
“I waited in line. It took about 45 minutes before I was attended to and after I was tested, I was told that I could leave.”
“They told me it would take two weeks. When I asked why, they said they would need to take the test samples to the University College Hospital, Ibadan. They said the result would not be out on time because Ondo State and others usually send samples to the UCH.
“In other words, the UCH has just one molecular lab, which many other states are using. I thought this to be pathetic. Anyway, they said they would contact me through the telephone or email.”
“I was angry but they said their hands were full. The UCH was meant only for Oyo State, but other states are also sending samples to it.
“They said they couldn’t handle the high demand. When I asked why they couldn’t set up more labs, they said this was what the government could afford.”
“I’ve been following the guidelines. I wash my hands regularly and wear my face mask. I actually bought the N95, which is the most effective. That is what I wear. I don’t go out anymore. I stay at home. I only go out when it is absolutely necessary.”
“Three days ago, I went to the Governor’s Office. I was told Governor Seyi Makinde was not around so I requested to see his chief of staff, but I was told he was in a meeting. So, I was introduced to one Adebowale Falana, who happens to be an assistant to the chief of staff.
“When I narrated my predicament to him, he picked his phone and called the doctor at the hospital, where I did the test, and he asked why my test result was being delayed. The doctor said my test result would be sent to me as soon as possible.
“Mr Falana subsequently gave me his phone number. That was three days ago. I still have not received the test result. When I called Mr Falana, he said ‘What do you want me to do?’ and I responded, ‘I beg your pardon, what do I want you to do? I want my result.
“Why don’t you escalate it to the governor? The result ought to have been out by now. I don’t need to lobby for it’. He said he would call the doctor but there has been no development till now. It is atrocious.”
“As I said earlier, I have been indoors. Fortunately, I live alone; so I am not in constant contact with anyone.”
“What I gathered is that you need to lobby to get your result out. I spoke to a pharmacist, who told me that one would have to lobby and beg before you could get your result. So, you keep wondering what is going on.”
“I am planning to go to a private facility to get tested and pay for it. It will cost me about N40,000, but it is my health that we are talking about. I have to make sure that I am okay.
“I will do the private test on Monday and get my result, because I will be travelling out of the country soon. I want to make sure that I am healthy. Even if the test result is given to me now, it wouldn’t be reliable.”
“It is unfortunate that it is only those who can afford a COVID-19 test that now get their results on time, but that is the country we live in. There is a disconnect between the government and the people.
“Those in government have forgotten the people. They are not for the people. Both the federal and state governments have failed and that is why the people are getting frustrated with this COVID-19 response and even calling it a scam by the government.
“Suppose I couldn’t afford the test, what would I have done? What if I really have COVID-19? I may have been dead by now; God forbid. So many people are dying before getting their test results.
“I watch the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefings and I just think to myself that this whole thing is a charade. The purpose of the tests is to save lives, but people are dying.
“They die before the test results are out. So, why test them in the first place? Why can’t they decentralise testing? And they have all the money but they don’t want to spend it on the people.”
“This fight against COVID-19 is just a waste of time. In Ondo town, three people, who I knew, died while they were waiting for their results. Messages were sent that they had tested positive after they had died.
“What is the purpose of taking a test when you may not live to see the result? In other countries, results are out between 24 and 48 hours. I have been waiting for three weeks.
“I will no longer plead with them for the result.”
“Nigeria has failed. I don’t think Nigeria can win this fight. Look at our population, which is about 200 million. How many people have they tested? We are chasing shadows. One day, I know we shall overcome.
“I am a fan of Governor Makinde, but he has failed as far as this COVID-19 response is concerned. Even Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State hasn’t done well.”
“All samples are sent to Akure for testing. Samples are sent to the UCH.”
“That is why I have decided to go do a test at a private lab. I stay home most of the time and I follow the guidelines and I ensure that I stay healthy. I do this so that in case I am infected, I will not infect others.”
“I am not afraid. I have actually spoken to many doctors about my situation and one of them even told me that most times, when the test result is negative, they don’t bother to contact people or they delay in reaching out but if the result is positive, they let you know immediately. But I am not satisfied with that.
“I believe whether my result is negative or positive, I ought to be informed.
“That notwithstanding, I will go for a test at a private clinic on Tuesday. I belong to the vulnerable group so I have just been self-isolating.”