COVID-19 survivor in Ghana urges strong support for patients

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ACCRA, May 21 (Xinhua) -- A female medical doctor who has survived severe symptoms of the novel coronavirus infection urged Ghanaians on Thursday to extend strong support and care to survivors of the pandemic to help them overcome the trauma.

Gillian Bougee, a pediatrician and head of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Bolgatanga Hospital in Ghana's Upper East region, said the infection should not be seen as a death sentence.

Sharing her story at the government's bi-weekly media briefing on the state of COVID-19 in Ghana, Bougee said that although it was scary getting infected, the available evidence showed that a large majority of those who get infected recover from it.

Bougee said she developed symptoms for COVID-19 on March 31, two days after coming into contact with a suspected case. And although her symptoms were severe, it took a second test weeks later to confirm her infection. She was discharged from treatment on May 2.

"Getting infected does not mean you are going to live with the infection for the rest of your life, and so there is no need to stigmatize survivors. Social distancing should not be social isolation," she urged.

In her case, the medical doctor said she had enjoyed tremendous support from her husband, friends, relatives, as well as the doctors and nurses at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in the nation's capital, where she had been airlifted for treatment. Enditem

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