‘I don’t want anyone to die because of me’: COVID-19 ‘patient zero’ speaks out

Kim Treasure 14 August 2021 191
Cedric Nyamsi

Cedric Nyamsi laid up in bed. He says he hasn’t left the ACT in more than three months. Photo: Supplied.

The man who is believed to have sparked Canberra’s current COVID-19 lockdown has spoken from his sickbed to dispel rumours that he brought the infection on himself by acting illegally.

Cedric Nyamsi is usually a fit, healthy 27-year-old, but the virus has knocked him flat. He told Region Media he’s as mystified as anyone about how he contracted it.

A Commonwealth Games wrestler, he’s been brought to his knees by the virus and doesn’t want to see anyone else infected.

“It makes me feel bad,” Cedric said. “Because of me, Canberra is in lockdown. But I didn’t do anything wrong. Someone gave it to me too.”

Cedric claims he has not left the ACT in the past three months and says he is doing everything he can to help contact tracers.

“I don’t want anyone to die because of me,” Cedric said.

“I’m very fit. I thought if I got it [COVID-19], it would be like a light fever, but it’s very bad.

“I’m trying to help them [the contact tracers] find out where I got it from.”

Freestyle wrestler Cedric Nyamsi

Freestyle wrestler Cedric Nyamsi in action. He’s now been laid low by the coronavirus. Photo: Supplied.

Cedric said he was devastated by rumours he caught COVID-19 by breaching health orders and driving into Sydney to get drugs.

“I was shocked when social media said I went to Sydney to buy drugs,” he said.

“I am a wrestler … number one in Australia … I don’t take drugs at all.”

Cedric said he began feeling unwell late on Tuesday night. He took ibuprofen and went to bed. Early the next morning, he felt a bit better and went to his job as an apprentice builder but was immediately sent home.

“As soon as my boss saw me, he told me to go and see a doctor,” Cedric said.

However, when he turned up at the doctor’s surgery, he was turned away and told to attend a testing facility.


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Feeling increasingly unwell, Cedric bought some over-the-counter medication and a toothbrush and went to the hotel where he was staying while he moved house to regain his strength.

“I was too sick to even go for testing,” he said. “I took some medication and lay down. About 4:00 pm, I started to feel better, so I went to Exhibition Park for testing, but it was closing, so I went to a walk-in centre at Weston Creek.

“I did my test and was asked to go home and isolate until I got a result. I went straight back to the hotel room and stayed there.”

Cedric said he couldn’t believe it when his positive result came in.

“I was shocked,” he said. “I thought, ‘oh my God, where did I get it from?’ I know I haven’t been out of Canberra for the last three months.

“I’m still confused. I really don’t know where I got it.”

Since his positive reading, Cedric has been moved to a self-contained isolation apartment but claims he hasn’t been seen by a doctor or a nurse.

“I don’t see anyone,” he said. “My breathing is okay, but I have a very bad headache. My nose is blocked and I feel so tired.”

Cedric has lived in Canberra for the past three-and-a-half years after migrating from Cameroon.

ACT Policing said today in a statement that it does not release names of individuals under investigation nor confirm investigations of individuals without receiving other specific details relating to time of a potential incident for obvious privacy and operational reasons.

“The priority for our community right now is to allow ACT Health to conduct all contract tracing to occur for all positive COVID-19 cases in Canberra”, the statement said.

“It is crucial ACT Health has time to do this important work and the people they are liaising with, feel confident to honestly report their movements to ensure that information can then be shared with our community.

“ACT Policing’s focus remains on enforcing the current health directions in the ACT, which includes monitoring people’s movements across the territory, to help ensure there are no more cases of COVID-19. Once this has occurred, and if any potential breaches are reported, ACT Policing may investigate and consider if enforcement action is required”.

Police have reiterated that while the lockdown has led to significant speculation, Canberrans should think about their public comments and not consider taking matters into their own hands online or sharing unhelpful information.

It is an offence for anyone to use technology to threaten, intimidate, harass or humiliate someone with the intent to hurt them socially, psychologically or even physically on any social networking site.

If anyone receives a threat or is bullied online, it is important to record the information and report it to police or the social media platform where it is occurring.

You can attend your local police station, call 131 444 or if there is an immediate threat to your safety call Emergency Triple Zero (000)


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191 Responses to ‘I don’t want anyone to die because of me’: COVID-19 ‘patient zero’ speaks out
GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 12:19 pm 16 Aug 21

Hmmmm, Chewy, I recall you calling me disingenuous because my “weak attempts to hide behind poorly hidden assertions amd (sic) insults don’t reflect well on you.” Bummer when you own words are used against you, Chewy, isn’t it? Even more of a bummer when you are shown to be, not only a hypocrite, but a cherry picker of information who skews the truth to validate your own strawman (another of your words) argument.
Yes, I did make those unfortunate comments, but unlike you, when I make a mistake I am prepared to own it. But to report all of the facts, would not support your argument, so let me refresh your memory:
“GrumpyMark 7:00 pm 13 Aug 21
Yeah, I mentioned on here that I’d heard rumours, as reported above, but didn’t state them here and fortunately neither did any other RiotACT-er. It’s ashamed that Facebook posters don’t show the same restraint. I echo the support for Cedric and wishes for his well being. Let’s hope that the rest of the media gets on the front foot immediately, to debunk the rumours, for as I type, there’s nothing anywhere else. Seems like those who were clamouring for more information to be released, despite the fact that it wasn’t validated, need to take the time to reflect that old axiom – act in haste, repent at leisure. I certainly regret contributing by even raising my part in adding to the innuendo.”
Oh and the remark about ‘… those who were clamouring for more information to be released’, while not exclusively directed at you, certainly was meant to include you.
So Chewy, as I mentioned above, I’m bored with you. It’s time you took your incessant browbeating and sanctimony elsewhere, to find another person to play with.

    chewy14 chewy14 5:12 pm 16 Aug 21

    Grumpymark,
    No hiding here, your hypocrisy was clear for everyone to see.

    I just didn’t bother with it until it became to glaring to ignore with your repeated sanctimonious commentary.

    You only retracted the gossiping after the man had identified himself and provided the exact information that I beleive the government should have released around the potential source of infection and early investigations.

    You’ll get no kudos for withdrawing the comments after the fact, you provided exampke a,b,c of my argument. Thanks.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:58 pm 16 Aug 21

    Ahhhh, chewy14 an Grumpynark attacking each other.

    It doesn’t get much better than this.

    Thank you RiotACT.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 8:47 pm 16 Aug 21

    Sorry to disappoint you, CapitalRetro, but the battle is over. It’s actually much more fun calling you out for your glaring factual deficiencies – you are the gift that just keeps on giving.

Frank Madrid Frank Madrid 4:01 pm 15 Aug 21

I am pleased to learn you are doing well, the rumour mill was out of control and you managed to own your narrative, well done.

Lisa Hoitink Pateman Lisa Hoitink Pateman 3:32 pm 15 Aug 21

Take care Cedric, get well soon! X

Christine Jones Christine Jones 2:15 pm 15 Aug 21

What about someone from a Sydney hotspot coming to you in Canberra???

Fiona Fulton-allen Fiona Fulton-allen 12:05 pm 15 Aug 21

Does anyone know which hotel he was staying at?

    Michelle Bettanin Michelle Bettanin 12:42 pm 15 Aug 21

    Fiona Fulton-allen there’s an Abode hotel Kingston on the list now so maybe that

    Fiona Fulton-allen Fiona Fulton-allen 2:31 pm 15 Aug 21

    Michelle Bettanin thank you.

Nicky Green Nicky Green 5:01 pm 14 Aug 21

I concur! It's wonderful that people are stepping up for testing and the long waits are not ideal; having said that, when symptomatic the concept of driving is difficult enough. The idea of facing hours in the car becomes a deterrent to testing. I've spoken to several people who have said they just feel too sick to go and get their test. Which has resulted in them staying at home and getting sicker with no support

    Renate Cowell Renate Cowell 7:17 pm 14 Aug 21

    Nicky Green can I suggest that anyone who feels too sick to go and get tested to call the Covid Hotline for advice, or, if feeling really sick to dial 000

    Nicky Green Nicky Green 8:22 pm 14 Aug 21

    Renate Cowell thanks Renate, I concur. It's the waiting for 5+ hours that is causing the issue. It's rather daunting. On the bright side, both have been isolating for the full duration, rather than wandering around symptomatic. My concern is for their welfare and putting it out there that if someone is sick, it's not realistic to expect them to sit in their car (or worse still, try and stand in a line) for 5, 6, 7 hours. By no means a reflection on the amazing people working the front line!! Or the brave souls stepping up for testing. Just a reflection that perhaps those in that scenario could perhaps be prioritised? Symptomatic and been in direct contact ...

    Renate Cowell Renate Cowell 8:53 pm 14 Aug 21

    Nicky Green Totally agree.

    I was appalled by the fiasco that occurred yesterday at Epic.

    Someone made a point of saying that it should be declared a hotspot with potential Covid positive people having to use the toilets, getting food from the local MacDonalds and generally mingling as they waited up to 10 hours.

    Yes, a disaster zone which fortunately the government addressed and today things were much better.

    As for the wonderful people staffing the testing- I really hope they did not have to deal with aggressive people.

    The efforts of the staff went well and truly above and beyond the call of duty.💐

    There needs to be a better service for people who suspect that they have Covid, and are feeling sick, a service that is well publicised and easy accessed.

    I’ll bet calling the Covid Hotline is an exercise in patience and frustration.

    I’m the absence of anything else, and knowing that the symptoms of Delta strain can escalate quickly, maybe going straight to dialling 000 is something to seriously consider if you can’t get through to the Covid hotline within a reasonable wait.

GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 4:48 pm 14 Aug 21

This following was posted in a response in the comment I was following, and may not be seen by all. I think it needs to be highlighted:

“midnightriot 3:20 pm 14 Aug 21
Honestly, it’s not hard to find, e.g. http://wrestling.com.au/newsite/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Final-Results.pdf

The link is to the Wrestling Australia results of the 2021 Cadet, Junior, Senior and Veteran National Championships held on Sunday, 16th May at the National Centre of Excellence, Sydney. At the bottom of page 4, it shows in the Senior Freestyle 125kgs:
===> 1st. Cedric Nyasmsi (sic – shame they couldn’t spell his name correctly), ACT

I hope that satisfies the few detractors on here.

Thank you for drawing that to our attention, midnightriot. And a belated congratulations to you for your achievement, Cedric.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:55 pm 14 Aug 21

    If it “wasn’t hard to find” how come you didn’t find it either? At least I admitted I couldn’t find it and to be correct, Cedric is “one of the number one wrestlers” in Australia, not the undisputed number one in Australia.

    What about our local sports journalists who missed this event 3 months ago? Shame!

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 9:51 am 15 Aug 21

    Seriously, CapitalRetro, do I have to read the post to you? I didn’t say “It’s not hard to find”, because I never even tried, it was midnightriot. Secondly, who said he was “undisputed number one in Australia”? Certainly no-one in the above article – though he is currently number one in his weight category in Australia, which does sound like it’s undisputed to me. I suspect this was not reported on any syndicated publication, so how could our local journalists possibly know about it – there was probably nothing to cut ‘n’ paste. Nevertheless, we finally agree on something, Yes, it is a shame that it took something like this for Cedric’s achievement to be drawn to our attention.

Katy Did Katy Did 1:56 pm 14 Aug 21

Take care of yourself Cedric

GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 1:11 pm 14 Aug 21

QED, JC

carriew carriew 1:07 pm 14 Aug 21

I’m glad to see that people are understanding and supportive towards Cedric

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 1:21 pm 14 Aug 21

    Unfortunately,it’s only the overwhelming majority, carriew

Jackie Fuller Jackie Fuller 12:20 pm 14 Aug 21

Get well soon pal

Amber Cervo Amber Cervo 11:52 am 14 Aug 21

Kayla Camaggi just fyi 😉

Mohamed Mohideen Mohamed Mohideen 11:13 am 14 Aug 21

Get well soon and take care. I hope he gets the necessary medical attention he needs

Angie Carey Angie Carey 10:35 am 14 Aug 21

It's worrying that there has been no follow-up medical care or apparent support. Nor that there is a way of fast tracking people with symptoms at testing stations. If you've been sent thete by a doctors surgery there should be protocols in place for fast tracking.

Kris Gray Kris Gray 10:03 am 14 Aug 21

Andrew Gray don’t condemn Cedric, until the investigation is complete.

Oiledpengu Oiledpengu 9:47 am 14 Aug 21

Seems like a good and decent person. Hope he’s ok long term

Salima Haidary Salima Haidary 9:45 am 14 Aug 21

Poor guy. You are very handsome btw 🥰

Shaz Max Shaz Max 9:22 am 14 Aug 21

How come the hotel that Cedric was staying is not on the contact sites?

Christine Smith Christine Smith 9:11 am 14 Aug 21

More than likely some person from Sydney travelled here and went to a nightclub he was working at. Poor bloke.

    Christine Smith Christine Smith 5:34 pm 18 Aug 21

    Irene Gor not necessarily they often go home the next morning, or if drug running, that night.

Tania Ezra Tania Ezra 9:06 am 14 Aug 21

Wishing you a speedy recovery ❤️‍🩹

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