For 18 days, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga was holed up in his official residence, receiving round-the-clock medical attention after contracting Covid-19.
What started off as a cold and was treated as such transformed to extreme lethargy, loss of appetite, taste and smell within a span of three to four days.
On Wednesday, the governor opened up on his tribulations with the disease, saying that he most likely fell sick before he attended a governors’ meeting in Mombasa.
“I started feeling uncomfortable with flu-like symptoms that I treated with some Flugone, but the symptoms persisted though mildly and we got back to Nyeri,” he said.
Mr Kahiga spoke at the Nyeri Referral Hospital after receiving the fourth consignment of personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers from Equity Bank.
Back to Mombasa
All along, the governor dismissed the possibility of having contracted the virus and even travelled back to Mombasa for the Universal Health Care national rollout that was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He was among speakers who were supposed to make a presentation at the event.
“But I was fatigued and just wanted to sleep. I was rushed to Aga Khan Hospital in Mombasa where I was found to be dehydrated and, after some chest x-rays, they saw signs of pneumonia and blockage,” he said.
Through swift coordination between his personal doctor and others from Nyeri, he was administered with some drugs that helped stabilise his condition, the governor said.
It is then that he returned to his Nyeri residence.
“They started treating me for Covid-19 even before there was an official confirmation,” he said, adding that on his return to Nyeri, he developed breathing complications and was put on oxygen for three days.
He said he opted to be treated from home after considering that a majority of hospitals in the county are overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients.
So far, Nyeri has reported 688 positive cases with 23 confirmed deaths.
Archbishop Anthony Muheria of the Nyeri Catholic Archdiocese has also contracted the virus and is admitted at the Mater Hospital in Nairobi.
Governor Kahiga urged residents to go to hospital for testing whenever they develop cold-like symptoms, warning that they should not wait for the full-blown symptoms.
“We did not handle this in the right manner because we assumed it was a normal cold. We should take common cold seriously and, every time you have signs, you should get tested,” he said.
Reassuring the public that he is well, the governor said that most of the symptoms have gone and he is only grappling with dehydration and hot flashes at night.
“Let us not dilly-dally like I did and always go to the hospital for medical attention. We can recover, it is not a death sentence,” he said.
He urged Nyeri residents to continue sanitising, washing their hands and observing social distancing.
“Covid-19 is not a respecter of personality; let us all endeavour to stay negative by observing Ministry of Health protocols,” he said.
To avert strain among residents diagnosed with the virus, the county administration has embarked on a Sh125 million oxygen bulk fittings in Covid-19 centres across Nyeri.
“We acknowledge that numbers are rising and we have to be ready to treat any patient who requires oxygen in our facilities,” Mr Kahiga said.