COVID-19: Azikiwe Teaching Hospital records index case as ‘chemist’ tests positive

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… CMD insists no isolation for health workers

By Pamela Eboh Awka

The Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi has announced its index case of Coronavirus.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Professor Anthony Igwegbe had in a message said that the patient, a male trader resident in Onitsha was admitted into isolation ward following proper triage on presentation on 20th May.

According to him, the specimen that was taken from the patient a day after he was admitted and sent to Irrua came out positive for COVID-19.

Igwegbe’s message read, “NAUTH recorded her first case of confirmed covid 19 disease following the release of the result by NCDC.

“The patient was quickly moved from our Isolation Ward to the Anambra state Treatment Centre last night for care and treatment.

“The patient, male, trader resident in Onitsha was admitted into isolation ward following proper triage on presentation on 20th May. Specimen for test was taken the following day and sent to Irrua.

“All the necessary precautions weretaken as all who attended to him used PPEs. We shall be remain vigilant as we celebrate Eid el Fitr. Barke de salla.”

The news of the patient’s positive result has however filtered into his country home of Ufuma, Orumba North Local Government Area of the state, creating shock wave and anxiety that the disease may have killed his wife who died recently.

The information which filtered in through the community’s WhatsApp platform partly read, “Ndi Ufuma, it’s with a deep sense of gloom and sadness that I announce to you that an index positive covid19 person has been identified in Enugwuabo Ufuma.

“You will hear it sooner than later. God bless Dr Ugboaja who gave us a tip early enough but i must say that before his tip we really could not say the extent of contact with that person since he is a patent medicine dealer at Ezieze.”

“I plead with any Ufuma person and VG operatives with mobile public address system to help in dissemination of information to ndu Uvume who may have come in contact with Chukwudi or his late wife that runs a medicine and business centre stores at Ezieze to please come to the Primary school Enugwuabo for sample collection and test.”

“Testing positive to covid-19 is not a death sentence. There is no recorded death in Anambra from covid19 prior to the wife’s death last Saturday which stemmed from morbid ignorance.”

“You are safer and help keep your loved ones safe too with your declaration of contact with the aforesaid persons. It is glaring that the Diji and government’s stand that dead relatives be buried immediately they die is one of the safest measures to be undertaken to avoid the corona virus.”

“Now that the virus is here in Ufuma, I call on all those who left their dead persons in any morgue to hasten and pick up the corpses for immediate burial following government directives. Save the living and not the dead, ndu Uvume. Good morning and happy survival. God will protect us all.”

It was gathered that Chukwudi’s wife was last week brought to NAUTH in a bad condition, coughing and subsequently died before samples were taken.

A source who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the woman was immediately taken home for burial and by the time a medical team traced the family to the village, the corpse had already been embalmed.

“However, samples taken from her husband tested positive for Coronavirus, hence the suspicion that the wife may have died of the virus”.

Though the teaching hospital has already notified its staff of the situation, it is not yet clear the number of people, the man or his wife had contact with.

Meanwhile, the chief Medical Director of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State, Prof. Anthony Igwegbe has called for calm amidst fears that workers in the hospital may gave contracted Coronavirus from an index case that was admitted to the health institution.

The CMD had in a short message on Saturday announced that a patient who waa admitted to the institution on Wednesday tested positive to COVID-19.

Speaking at Nnewi, Igwegbe said that having an index case did not warrant sending the health workers on self isolation saying that the situation was handled professionally.

He said, ““NAUTH recorded its first positive confirmed Covid-19 case on Saturday, May 23, 2020 following the release of the result by NCDC.

“The patient was brought to the hospital last Wednesday and his specimen on suspicion, taken to test which turned out to be positive as declared by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC). He was admitted into isolation ward following proper triage on presentation on May 20. Specimen for test was taken the following day and sent to Irrua.

“The patient, an Onitsha-based business man was immediately moved to one of the isolation centres in the state for appropriate care’.

While insisting that all the necessary precautions were taken, Igwegbe explained that all the medical personnel that attended to the index case used Personal Prot+ective Equipment (PPEs). He assured that the hospital would remain vigilant.

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