Drama as first Nigeria’s coronavirus patient attempts to escape isolation centre laments of heat and mosquitoes

By AdvocateNews on 29/02/2020

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The Lagos Isolation centre
The Lagos Isolation centre

The first coronavirus patient in Nigeria, a 44-year-old Italian, who’s presently receiving treatment at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos reportedly attempted to run away on Friday, February 28, 2020, because of heat and mosquitoes at the hospital.

The Italian, who is said to be working for a vendor that provides services to Lafarge cement company was isolated on Thursday, February 27, 2020, after he was found to be a victim of the disease.

A high ranking health worker, who spok on the condition of anonymity on Friday disclosed that the Coronavirus patient had earlier complained about the ‘very poor quality’ of the isolation centre.

The source said that the Italian was upset about the surrounding as he “complained of excessive heat and mosquitoes, Punch reports.

“The patient wanted to run away yesterday (Friday). The Italian man, who seems to be an engineer, was very angry that the room where he was kept was very hot.

“There is nothing there (inside the isolation ward) aside from bed and hospital locker. He almost ran away and is still threatening to do that”, the source said.

On Friday, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat during an interview said the state government had built a facility to handle the situation, adding that patient was getting better.

He said, “It is a lab that can accommodate 100 for now, but it is only one bed that is occupied today. Hopefully, it wouldn’t spread. We are ready and we are well equipped. He (the patient) is there and he is getting better. He is steady. The doctors say he is going to be fine.’’

Contrary to Hamzat’s claim, the source said the level of preparedness of Lagos State government level for Coronavirus is zero, adding that the facility the Deputy Governor claimed could accommodate 100 patients is still undergoing renovation.

The health worker also revealed that the isolation area at Mainland Hospital was just a room in one of the wards, adding that the centre does not have designated wards to isolate patients of infectious diseases like SARS, Lassa fever and Coronavirus.

The place meant for Lassa fever patient has been under construction in the past one month. It is not yet completed. As you can see, they are makeshift structures, hurriedly put together with white tarpaulin.

“They are not permanent structures and I don’t know how this place can actually accommodate humans that have a highly infectious disease like Lassa fever.”

The also alleged that the room where the Italian was kept has no equipment. He added that many health workers have left the hospital because “they are predisposed to danger of infection.”

“The only thing demarcating the room from other rooms in the ward is a red and white barricade tape. That is where the Italian man that tested positive to Coronavirus is kept.

“There is no single equipment inside that place. It is just like any other regular hospital room with a bed. That building you see that is being repainted is the original place meant to quarantine Coronavirus patients.

“As you can see, the place is not ready. The state government is just renovating it, despite the fact that the virus started spreading since December 2019. It is really sad that a country like Nigeria is never ready to medically contain infectious disease outbreak.

“This is why most health workers leave because they are predisposed to danger of infection.”

On those who had had contacts with the Italian, the health worker said even if the state government is able to track all of them, it wont be able to quarantine them because it lacks requisite facility.

He said, “The standard medical operational procedure is to track all contacts and have them quarantined to avoid further spread of the virus. But we cannot do that here because we lack such facility, which is why there is emphasis on self quarantine.

“Even where the Italian man is presently being isolated was a room vacated by a patient. I pray God saves us in the coming months because we are not ready for the danger posed by the Coronavirus.”

Posted 29/02/2020 11:36:11 AM


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