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Anxiety over COVID-19-related death in Ondo hospital

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There was palpable fear and anxiety among residents and health officials in Akoko communities in the North Senatorial District of Ondo State over the death of a suspected Coronavirus patient at a public hospital.

The Guardian learnt that the patient died at Ipe-Akoko community in Akoko South-East Local Council, though he had contact with persons in Ikare-Akoko and Oka-Akoko.

A reliable source at the public hospital said that the suspected COVID-19 patient was first admitted at State Specialist Hospital (SSH), Ikare, before he was transferred to less equipped General Hospital, Oka.

Though he was later moved to General Hospital, Ipe, where he died, all efforts made by family members of the deceased in the last few days to reach authorities to conduct test for the patient failed.

It was gathered that officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Owo allegedly claimed there were no logistics to go down to Ipe General Hospital to pick the patient for test.

It was learnt that some of the health workers at those hospitals could not ascertain the health status of the deceased until he died yesterday morning. It led to panic among the health workers and residents.

One of the health officials, who confirmed the situation, said: “There was a suspected COVID-19 case in Government Hospital, Ipe-Akoko yesterday night who died about two hours after admission.

“The patient came in unconscious with fever of 40 degree Celsius and coughed with grunting respiration of 52cpm. He was discovered to be RVS reactive.

“We called NCDC officials in the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo, who promised to come this morning to collect 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 on gloves and masks, meaning that they even suspected something.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, who confirmed the incident, however, declared that it was not a case of Coronavirus as being rumoured.

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

He 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.


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