Shame and dishonesty may worsen the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria as the index cases rise to 442 on Thursday. The Task Force on COVID-19 at its daily media briefing on Thursday said the government would shut unaccredited private hospitals secretly treating COVID-19 patients.
NCDC’s protocol on COVID-19 requires individuals that come from countries with a high burden of COVID-19 to be isolated for 14 days. Again individuals that show symptoms should contact NCDC and are not expected to seek treatment at unaccredited hospitals. It is also among the protocol that unaccredited hospitals should refer patients showing symptoms to health facilities provided for treatment of COVID-19.
Prominent Nigerians are beginning to disregard the extant rules in fighting the spread and treatment of COVID-19. The number of persons who spoke to Campusaga Media on the ugly development attributed such act as being ashamed of contracting the disease.
Source has cited Kano, Anambra, Kwara, Lagos as the states where rich suspected COVID-19 patients went for a private hospital to seek treatment. A close source revealed to Campuasag Media that many who returned from overseas travel staying at Banana Island, Victoria Island and Ikoyi disregarded government’s directives on self-isolation.
CASES OF SHAME AND DISHONESTY
Why Obanimon, chattered accountant and auditor who returned from the UK allegedly died of COVID-19 related complications at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital earlier in April. Even Prof Alakija Salami who brought Obanimon accredited centre claimed the man was suffering from food poisoning and was admitted on that basis. It was reported later that 25 medical workers came in contact with him and were isolated for 14 days. Prof Alakija was also suspended.
The first index in Kano who was a former ambassador violated the NCDC’s directive on self-isolation when he returned from abroad. James King, the medical doctor and others who came in contact with the former ambassador all tested negative on Thursday after 14 days isolation.
DR KING’S FACEBOOK NARRATION
King, in a Facebook post on Thursday, narrated how the index case arrived at the hospital and was later taken for isolation by security agents.
The Kano-based doctor explained that the patient had wilfully withheld information about his recent travel history and COVID-19 test, He added that the index case had attended several public events.
According to him, the index case visited the hospital on April 10 with complaints of fever and general body weakness, mouth dryness and loss of appetite.
He said, “It was unknown to us that he was alleged to have travelled abroad too before returning to my resident state (Kano) via Abuja, travelling by road. While travelling by road, he stayed briefly in Kaduna before arriving in my resident state on March 25, 2020.
“He denied all this travel history to us. He also denied having the pertinent coronavirus symptoms; breathlessness and cough. He hid the fact that he had been to several medical outlets since his return to the state.
“And importantly, he did not provide information that his samples were taken by the NCDC for COVID-19 testing before coming to us.”
King added that the patient claimed to have felt ill for a few days but denied symptoms of cough, breathlessness or palpitations.
“Of course, he denied all the above in order for him to have our medical care. Putting us all and many others at high risk of the novel pandemic. Many other medical questions were asked and documented.
“He was further evaluated, examined and admitted into a private room upstairs on Friday 10th, April 2020 about 7 pm by my boss. He had contact with two doctors (my boss and me), three nurses and one non-medical member of staff.
“We also learnt that, during his illness, before coming to us, he was attending Friday mosque prayers, naming ceremonies and other gatherings.
“The following day, health officials with massive police presence staged a “Nollywood-like dramatic entrance into our hospital. The officials told us that we had a man in our facility that had just tested positive for COVID-19. There was an order from the governor of the state to lock down the hospital immediately to prevent further spread.
“The patient was whisked away to a quarantine centre on the outskirts of the state. We were placed in isolation too in our hospital facility. Samples were taken from our staff for COVID-19 testing.
“For many days, we could not physically reach our families or anyone. At last, the results came out yesterday afternoon, April 15, 2020 and it was negative for all of us. We are yet to be released from Isolation.”
ANAMBRA’S FIRST INDEX CASE
The rich man who smuggled himself from Lagos with unconfirmed stories if he had travelled or not, tested positive and was taken to treatment center. Even while being quarantined, he was accusing Anambra state government of not being fair to have accused him of contracting COVID-19, whereas the sample taken from him when he hid himself for treatment at St Joseph Hospital, Adazi came out positive. Before the test result, he had left Adazi to Awka to stay at the house of his friend who is a medical doctor at Awka. Sentiment and defence by his villagers who had benefitted from him went agog in social media. He attended several village meetings and other social gatherings before he showed symptoms.
It is quite baffling that in Nigeria individuals are ashamed of contracting COVID-19 whereas leaders and famous individual in other countries have admitted contracting COVID-19. They were put in isolation, quarantined and later discharged after testing negative.
The ugly orientation is inimical to the fight against the spread
There are more cases of those infected that had been tested
The spread therefore, may worsen than expected
This can make the government extend the lockdown
Suffering and challenges of the pandemic may escalate unimaginably
More cases of death may be recorded for failure by some infected to submit self for treatment on time
APPEAL TO NIGERIANS
Please let us observe all the NCDC’s protocol as help to ourselves and contribute to the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Despite the untold hardship, we should try and observe the precautionary measures for we cannot know who had been infected.
It is better to defeat the spread on time than allowing it for a protracted period.
Stay home, stay safe and pray for end of the pandemic.