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NAUTH records first COVID-19 death as Umahi bemoans rising cases in Ebonyi


Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Professor Anthony Igwegbe, yesterday confirmed the first case of coronavirus death at the hospital.

Igwegbe said the patient was diagnosed with the virus following a test upon getting to the hospital, saying the test result was released on May 23, 2020 and that the patient was immediately moved to one of the isolation centres in Anambra State for treatment.

“The patient, a male trader resident in Onitsha was moved from our isolation centre to the Anambra State Treatment Centre last night for care and treatment after being admitted following proper triage on his presentation on May 20.

“Specimen for test was taken the following day and sent to the Irrua Specialist Hospital in Edo State,” he said.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Igwegbe said when the suspected case was earlier admitted, his test sample was not taken before he died, “so, we have only one confirmed case of COVID-19 in NAUTH so far.”

Meanwhile, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has bemoaned the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state, describing the development as ‘shocking and disturbing.’

Umahi stated this at a media briefing after an emergency meeting with the Ebonyi COVID-19 Response Team and relevant stakeholders, stressing that all the cases were returnees intercepted at the state’s borders.

The governor said between April 26 and May 20, there were 13 confirmed cases of the disease, but nine new cases were recorded on May 22, another nine on May 23 and two on May 24.

“We presently have 33 confirmed cases with six victims discharged and it should be noted that there is no community infection yet Ebonyi.

“A breakdown of the cases shows that Afikpo North Council Area has nine cases, Izzi (eight), Ishielu (six), Ikwo (four), Ohaukwu (two), Ohaozara (two), Onicha and Ezza North (one each),” he said.

Umahi added that the state could not have recorded such an upsurge in the cases if the inter-state boundary lockdowns were working, adding, “Another problem is that we are holding the returnees at the centres, yet we lack test kits from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“You can’t hold people down for over 14 days without testing and the Federal Government should do something about this urgently. These people can’t isolate at home because some of them stay up to five in a room, especially in the rural areas,” he said.


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