Covid-19 survivor talks of near-death experience

Datuk Peter Minos

KUCHING: Covid-19 survivor, Datuk Peter Minos, who is Kota Samarahan walikota, revealed that his infection was a near-death experience for him.

“After the 14 days of great suffering, I advise everyone, especially those in Category 4 and 5, to do everything they can not to be infected by the virus.

“I had to endure excruciating pain for almost a week. I was choking and felt like drowning, and I had high fever, splitting headache, and sore throat,” he said.

The 72-year-old, who was a Category 4 patient, reminded everyone that the virus could attack anyone anytime, anywhere, and when it is least expected.

“I personally believe that the virus selects easy targets such as people in my age group because it is almost humanly impossible for us to escape from the virus.

“Nonetheless, if you do get infected, please go quickly to a hospital. Don’t waste time as the attack can kill you in a minute. Please heed my advice as I have experienced it first hand,” he said.

As a survivor, he expressed his gratitude to the unsung heroes (doctors and nurses) for doing their best while taking care of him.

“I owe my life to the devotion and excellence of doctors and nurses at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH). They were like angels from heaven doing everything they could to save my life and for that I am truly grateful.

“Having gone through the life-changing experience, I am so proud to be in Malaysia and Sarawak because in my humble opinion there is no other nation that has a better medical system.

“I know it’s uncool for anyone to say, especially for someone in a leadership position like me, but if anyone such as politicians unfairly criticise our unsung heroes, I would like to knock some sense into them — probably slap them on the head, or something,” he said.

Minos believes that Malaysians should be grateful that their government, in particular the Ministry of Health (MOH), the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), doctors and nurses, and all other frontliners have been working so hard throughout the pandemic.

“Doctors and nurses have been going far and beyond their duties to save lives is something we should be grateful for.

“Therefore, Covid-19 must be eradicated and it is our role to adhere strictly to the standard operating procedures (SOPS) and other directives.

“We must fully cooperate with the authorities and each other to remove this ‘evil curse’ that has brought terrible pains and suffering and death,” he said.

He hoped that once the virus is gone, the people will be able to get their normal lives back.

“Only then can we truly focus on economic recovery and much more. Until then, we need to get rid of the virus as soon as possible. United Malaysians can do it. Malaysia Boleh!” he said.

Based on research made by Emory Vaccine Centre director Rafi Ahmed, Covid-19 survivors retain broad and effective longer-term immunity to the disease. The research is the most comprehensive of its kind so far.

The study suggests that patients who survived the virus are likely to also possess protective immunity even against some SARS-CoV-2 variants.

“Vaccines that target other parts of the virus rather than just the spike protein may be more helpful in containing infection as SARS-CoV-2 variants overtake the prevailing strains.

“This could pave the way for us to design vaccines that address multiple coronaviruses,” said Rafi.