COVID-19 is real

According to Dr James Fong, our goal is to make vaccines available to every eligible adult in Fiji and to have those Fijians all accept this safe and effective protection. People queue up for their jabs at the Sai Prema complex in Suva. Picture: FILE/RAMA

Ashween Dutt Sharma of Sakoca, Tamavua, is thankful for life. He is appreciative of the work of our frontliners.

He appreciates the work of health experts, and is thankful he is alive today.

He is a COVID-19 positive patient who has recovered from the deadly virus.

He was admitted at the FEMAT facility at Laucala Bay, Suva, and is now urging Fijians not to take the virus lightly.

He tested positive on Saturday, July 17 and was transferred to the FEMAT facility from Valelevu Health Centre the same day.

At the Laucala Bay facility, he described what he went through on Saturday as “a nightmare”.

“I was unable to breathe when I was rushed to the hospital on Saturday,” he said.

He spoke about life and death.

“If I had not gone to the hospital, I would have died at home. I thank my neighbour for rushing me there.”

He warns us to take COVID-19 seriously.

Otherwise we are making a great mistake, he says.

“It’s time to get serious with COVID-19, it is not a joke as some people may be thinking. I don’t want anyone to go through the same experience I did.”

Mr Sharma expressed his gratitude towards the Health Ministry for taking care of COVID positive patients at the FEMAT hospital.

This is his story.

Today, if you are thinking this is a joke, think again!

Community transmission is frightening. The virus is spreading. It is out of control! We must work to flatten the curve. That’s not going to be easy.

Our numbers are frightening. They are scaring people.

In the face of all this uncertainty, fear and sense of insecurity, people will look up to the powers that be for reassurance. They will look to the powers that be to make tough calls that give them hope, and some semblance of order in their lives.

They want clarity. They want confidence back in their lives.

For what it is worth though, we can’t be sitting back and waiting, hoping that things will change quickly.

We must be the catalyst for change. Treat everyone as a possible virus carrier.

As we look to the powers that be to initiate something, we must take ownership of this problem ourselves.

So let’s do what we can right now.

Let’s control what we can!

Let’s adhere to physical distancing rules. Let’s wash our hands often with soap and water. Let’s use a hand sanitiser if we have that. Let’s stay home and if we must travel, let’s wear a mask properly, covering our nose and mouth.

Don’t touch your face in public until you are able to wash your hands first.

Cut out handshakes and hugs.

Remind people to keep a safe distance from you.

If you are on public transport, watch what you touch.

Be mindful of where you sit. Be careful and be safe.

If you feel sick, call the numbers provided by the Ministry of Health. Listen to expert health advice.

We are now staring at a blankwall. These are frightening times. If it seems as if no one is listening, then we must make a difference, for ourselves, our loved ones and for our nation!

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