Saturday, February 29, 2020

Italian infected with Coronavirus attempts to escape Lagos centre

A 44-year-old Italian who tested positive for the deadly Coronavirus in Lagos on Friday was angry and attempted to escape from the isolation center where he was being quarantined.

According to Punch, a high ranking health worker, at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos (formerly, Infectious Diseases Hospital), said the patient had “complained of excessive heat and mosquitoes” at the isolation center.

“The patient wanted to run away yesterday (Thursday). 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 Punch quoted the health worker.

The worker who was reported to have spoken under the condition of anonymity described the isolation facility as ‘very poor quality’ and added that “the authorities have not matched words with action”.

However, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, had said on Friday that the state government had built a facility to handle the situation, adding that the patient was getting better.

But the source, who emerged from the Out-Patient Department of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, alleged that the level of preparedness in Lagos State for infectious diseases such as coronavirus and Lassa fever “is zero.”

The source revealed that the isolation area was a room in one of the wards and that it was quickly vacated to accommodate the Italian.

The source alleged, “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 the danger of infection.”

Meanwhile, the Medical Director of the Mainland Hospital, Dr. Abimbola Bowale, has assured that the patient “is stable and responding to treatment.”

He said the patient, who was admitted and quarantined on Thursday, “is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed and quarantined in accordance with health safety standard.”

“We are doing trace-monitoring, and, for now, we cannot say how many people he must have come in contact with.

“We are on top of the situation and all necessary precautions are being put in place,” he added.

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