LANDS, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Vangelis Peter Haritatos who was recently on self-isolation after testing positive to Covid-19, has returned to work after recovering from the deadly disease.
Covid-19 has so far claimed more than 800 000 lives globally and infected more than 23 million people while more than 14 million have recovered. Zimbabwe has recorded more than 5 800 cases and 153 deaths and 4 629 people have recovered.
He tested positive for Covid-19 after being in contact with his former boss, the late Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri (Rtd) who succumbed to the Covid-19 virus last month. Haritatos, who tested negative three weeks ago, on Friday took to social media and shared his experience.
He narrated how the past few weeks had been the toughest in his life. Haritatos paid tribute to God for sparing his life and thanked his family for the support they gave him during the trying time.
To fight the virus, he said he took Zithromax, Vitamins B, C and D and Zinc.
Haritatos said despite following the Government and World Health Organisation (WHO) health guidelines, he made one mistake, which ultimately resulted in him contracting the virus. Haritatos said upon contracting the virus, he felt like something “evil” had entered his body.
“The coronavirus is real. The last few weeks have been the toughest in my life, I thank God for saving me and giving me the strength to fight an evil virus that has ravaged the world over,” he said.
“It was not an easy fight to overcome, but I thank God for blessing me with the family that I have. My beautiful wife and pillar of strength nursed me from the start. She ensured that I ate, took my medication, continuously hydrated, and most importantly that I stayed in a positive state of mind.”
He paid tribute to his children, parents, in-laws and siblings for supporting him when he needed it most. Haritatos said after President Mnangagwa announced that the late national hero Air Chief Marshal Shiri (Rtd) had succumbed to Covid-19, he decided to put himself into self-isolation for the safety and security of his colleagues and family.
“Sadly, I too tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. This virus is real and we need to fight it by following the guidelines that our Government has given us which is in line with the WHO regulations. I followed everything to the comma and full stop, but I made one mistake, and that one mistake resulted in me contracting the virus,” he said.
Haritatos urged the generality of the people to adhere to stipulated regulations and measures put in place by Government to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
“Do not take off your mask when talking to people regardless of who they are. Protect yourself, protect your family, protect your friends, protect your colleagues, protect us all and help stop the spread of Covid-19. All it takes is one simple mistake, so you should be extra careful and do not take anything for granted. Before I got sick, I heard the saying that treat everyone as a potential threat, and that is exactly the case when it comes to this deadly virus,” he said.
“I knew that my work on earth was not complete. I knew that I still had to serve my people, fulfil my national duty, and make the difference through the mandate that was given to me. At 34 I still have a whole life to live, and I still have many years ahead of me to make a difference in this world, more importantly for our beautiful country.”
Haritatos said his 76-year-old father continued to run family businesses alongside his supportive mother without challenges. The MP for Muzvezve in Mashonaland West, said during self-isolation, he relied on his dependable constituency co-ordinator to take care of all constituency issues.
“I remember messaging my co-ordinator to tell him the bad news, my message started with ‘please do not worry, but unfortunately, I have tested positive for Covid-19,'” he said.
“Our family doctor was truly unbelievable. I owe him my life. I am truly blessed to have the most amazing people around me. I prayed hard sometimes several times a day and my prayers were not so much for me, although when I did, I prayed for the strength to fight this virus.”
Haritatos said he also prayed to God so that his family and those who had come into contact with him while he was infectious did not contract the virus.
“I am so grateful to the Almighty, not one of my family members tested positive. You may ask why I didn’t pray so much for myself, and this is because I knew that my work on earth was not complete,” he said.