From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Abia State Government says it has arrested a middle aged man suspected to be infested with the deadly coronavirus pandemic before sneaking into the state.
The suspect identified as Vincent Prosper who reportedly returned from Lagos State recently, was said to have also visited a confirmed covid-19 patient in the neighbouring Akwa Ibom State.
Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, in a press statement, said the patient had been taken into custody at the covid -19 isolation centre at Amachara, Umuahia.
He said a blood sample of the patient had been taken and sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) laboratory for testing.
Giving more insight on how the suspected patient was arrested, the Commissioner said :
“Abia State COVID-19 medical Rapid Response (RR) Team received information from NCDC national control room on a suspected COVID-19 patient named Vincent Prosper who called them from Abia State to report among other things that he was manifesting symptoms of the virus and recently had contacts with a confirmed patient in neighboring Akwa Ibom state in addition to recently returning from Lagos.
“Our team immediately swung into action and called the number forwarded, took notes and asked the individual to isolate himself pending our arrival to take samples for testing. On arrival at the given location, he disappeared and was later to confess that he saw the ambulance and the fully kitted RR-team, lost courage, detested the possibility of being locked down and decided to switch off his phone and disappear into thin air.
“We continued to look for him quietly and at some point got him again on the phone and he gave us a wrong address at Azikiwe Road and a team was immediately dispatched to the location but did not find him there.
“At that point, we decided to enlist the services of a top security agency in the state to find him and also alerted members of the public yesterday regarding the situation in the hope that he would voluntarily come forward. He never did! But late last night, the security agency pinned his location down and this morning our RR-team stormed the location with security agents and took him into custody at our isolation facility at Amachara where we have now collected samples from him and dispatched to NCDC for testing.
“He is now fully cooperating and all necessary information given, including the fact that while he actually recently returned from Lagos he didn’t visit Akwa Ibom state since his return though he resides in a border community to Akwa Ibom State. His real name is also not Vincent Prosper and he actually made the call to NCDC Control room.”
The Commissioner noted that the pandemic was not a death sentence, and urged people to alert the response team immediately they suspect any symptom of the disease for early medication.