–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA): From Mike SOGBOLA, North East Correspondent:
Fear has gripped Maiduguri, the Borno State capital as two patients, Abbas Hassan, a 24 year-old male and Hauwa Mohammed, 42 year-old female, are on the run after testing positive to COVID-19 at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH)
The man is said to be residing at Layin Tanki in Gwange II while the woman lives in Shuwari ward, both in Maiduguri.
The Borno Commissioner of Health and Secretary to the state’s high powered response team for the prevention and control of COVID-19, Dr. Salisu Kwaya-Bura alerted the public at the team’s daily media briefing held on Sunday.
The commissioner said the male patient (Abbas) was in initial telephone contact with the response team after his sample was collected, but eventually switched off his phone when he learnt he tested positive.
He also said a phone number through which the patient’s mother was in touch with the team was also been switched off.
“When samples of patients with contacts to index cases are collected, they are normally advised to go on self-isolation. They give their contacts so they can be reached when results are out. This is the standard medical procedure. You cannot detain someone with suspected contact.
“We do not have the lawful powers to do that. Other patients were also allowed to leave but they came into isolation centres and we have 19 of them in two isolation centres. However, the young man in question, chose to go into hiding”.
He noted that a diligent surveillance and investigation team is working very hard to track the patient.
Kwaya-Bura called on anyone who test positive to the disease not to regard it as a death sentence, noting that majority of those who test positive have recovered.
The Commissioner disclosed that 16 of Borno’s COVID-19 cases emanated from community transmission, while 14 others were connected with the index and another case.
He advised residents to take serious preventive measures across the state.
He announced that the response team plans to ensure that anyone entering major markets at the relaxation of lockdown on Monday must wear a face mask which can be made of cloth material if one does not have the medical mask.
He said the response team will be making masks available while hand washing points will also be increased to ensure hands are washed at entry and exit points.