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Deceased coronavirus suspect hid his medical history, UITH explains

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University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) has explained that the suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient that died in the facility hid his medical history, which was revealed shortly after his death from “anonymous callers”.

A 57-year-old man, who returned from the United Kingdom (UK) recently, died in the hospital.

Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (C-MAC) of the hospital, Dr. Aisha Saka, in a statement yesterday entitled ‘Brief on a Case That Died At UITH On Thursday, April 2, 2020’, explained that the Muslim faith was brought into UITH’s Accident and Emergency Department on the night of Wednesday, April 1, 2020, with history of abdominal discomfort/stooling, following ingestion of rotten pineapples.

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She said, “He was then admitted and managed as a case of ‘food poisoning’. The patient later died in the early hours of April 2, 2020.

“Following the patient’s death and release of his corpse to the managing professor (who also claimed to be his relative) for immediate burial (in accordance with Islamic rites), the hospital management received several anonymous calls disclosing information of recent travels by the patient and his wife to the UK and having been on self-isolation on arrival to Ilorin 12 days prior to presentation at A&E (on the advice of the professor who brought him) – information that was concealed from the frontline medical personnel at first contact in the A&E, A&E attendants and the mortuary staff; acts that the hospital’s management considered highly unethical.”

The statement added that based on the alleged hidden and additional information, the hospital’s management and the UITH’s COVID-19 Committee immediately labelled it a ‘Suspected Case’.

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She noted that the hospital, among other prompt measures, embarked on immediate notification to Kwara State COVID-19 Committee Response Team leading to the proactive fumigation of the hospital’s Medical Emergency Department.

Besides, the management of the hospital gave “Proactive Advice” for self-isolation of close contacts of the patient while in the hospital and their follow-up by UITH’s COVID-19 Committee Team, in collaboration with Kwara State COVID-19 Response Team on Contract Tracing in the Community.

It also collected laboratory samples from the deceased’s wife, the professor, and all others identified as ‘very high-risk contacts’ using National COVID-19 Guideline, and “institution of other measures at every point of clinical service to protect healthcare staff in the frontlines and others in cases of deceptions from clients with probable symptoms of COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, many workers at the hospital, especially those identified to have had close contact with the patient, are anxiously awaiting the results of their samples.

The Kwara State government, through the Chief Press Secretary to Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said the development could not be labelled as a case of COVID-19 until proved otherwise.

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