Panic in Nnewi over alleged death of Covid-19 patient

From Isaac Ojo Nnewi

The industrial town of Nnewi in Anambra State, was on Monday, thrown into confusion over an alleged death of Covid-19 patient at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH).

Sources said the patient was taken to the hospital on Friday by his relations for malaria related illness but that on Saturday morning the patient started showing symptoms of Covid-19.

The health officials of the hospital immediately took his specimen and sent it to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for confirmation.

The patient, according to our source, died on Sunday and his family immediately took his copse away from the hospital.

The result of the specimen taken to NCDC allegedly came positive on Monday throwing the staff of the hospital into panic.

The panic quickly spread like wild fire forcing many residents of the area to close their shops even before the commencement of the day’s curfew imposed by the federal government.

The hospital management, sources said, had directed all doctors, nurses and other personnel who had contact with the dead patient to immediately embark on self-quarantine for two weeks.

The directive from the hospital management however did not go down well with some workers in the hospital who preferred the government to quarantine the affected staff.

“Our lives are in constant danger by the virtue of the fact that we are working in NAUTH. First, how can the patient be admitted into the ward when his Covid-19 status has not been established? Again, how can the management direct the doctors, nurses and others who had contact with the dead patient to go on self –quarantine, instead of the government to take them to the quarantine centers. This is really unfortunate,” a worker who will not want his name in print lamented.

All attempt to hear from the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of NAUTH, Prof Anthony Igwegbe, was unsuccessful as he did not pick his call nor reply the SMS sent to him by our correspondent.

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