Panic in Ondo Communities over death of suspected COVID-19 patient in general hospital

Residents of Ipe-Akoko in Ondo North Senatorial District have expressed fear over the death of a suspected COVID-19 patient in the community’s General Hospital.

The development has also created palpable tension and panic among health officials and some residents of Ikare-Akoko and Oka-Akoko.

According to medical personnel at the hospital, the suspected COVID-19 patient was first admitted at the State Specialist Hospital, Ikare-Akoko before he was transferred to less equipped General Hospital, Oka-Akoko, and later moved to General Hospital, Ipe-Akoko.

It was gathered that all efforts made by family members of the deceased in the last few days to reach authorities to conduct a test for the patient failed as officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC stationed at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo allegedly claimed there were no logistics to move down to Ipe General Hospital to take the patient’s samples for test.

Following the death of the patient on Tuesday, health workers at the hospitals where he was attended, could not ascertain the course of death.

One of the health officials who were furious about the situation said, “our Government is not serious about the pandemic, there was a suspected COVID-19 case in General Hospital, Ipe-Akoko who was admitted on Monday night.

“The patient came in unconscious with a fever of 40-degree celcius, coughing with grunting respiration challenge, 52cpm. The patient was discovered to be RVS reactive.

“We called NCDC officials in Owo (FMC) who promised to come this Tuesday morning to collect his sample but told us later this morning that they can’t come again due to logistics and we should release the corpse to the relatives.”

“Imagine that even the relatives that brought the patient yesterday were in gloves and masks, meaning they even suspected something.

“We couldn’t ascertain the travel record of the patient. He was unconscious and lived alone. The suspicious thing was that they brought the patient from Ikare, leaving the State Specialist Hospital in the town, and the General Hospital in Iwaro-Akoko, to come to a remote area here in Ipe, why?

“But NCDC decided not to do anything based on logistics which we don’t know and advised us to release the corpse.

“Well, the patient was PCV 7%, RVS, chronic cough, and can be anything, but this is a good suspected case of COVID-19, so, why would NCDC just wave it away, meaning they must have been waiving other good cases of COVID-19 patients away too. Nigeria is a mess,” the source lamented.

When contacted on phone, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro who confirmed the incident, however, said the patient was not a case of Coronavirus as being rumoured.

He said the government could not disclose the ailment that killed the patient, adding that only the family has the right to know his status that led to his death.

Adegbenro said the deceased died of an entirely different health condition as proper diagnosis was carried out on the patient by medical personnel while on admission in the hospital.

He enjoined the people of Ipe Akoko not to be unnecessarily apprehensive as the government would not treat any coronavirus case with kids’ gloves.

The commissioner also hinted that the patient who tested positive for COVID-19 at the FMC Owo was now receiving treatment at the Infectious disease hospital in Akure.


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