Nigeria

COVID-19: Gov Abdulrazaq orders probe over mishandling of coronavirus case at UITH

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State, Tuesday, asked the Minister of Health to probe what he described as unpardonable behaviour at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and prosecute any official as appropriate to restore confidence in the institution.

The Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19 Monday, confirmed two separate cases of COVID-19 in the state.

The deceased COVID-19 patient and his wife were reported to have returned to the state from Britain.

Apparently unhappy with the two latest cases of COVID-19 discovered in the state capital with one person already dead, the governor also demanded “the immediate suspension of Professor Alakija Kazeem Salami, and every other official of the UITH whose professional misconducts brought us down this path pending further investigation, even as we step up our efforts to contain this virus.”

The governor said “The state government is utterly disappointed at the sheer blatant disregard for protocol and ethics and breach of trust that played out in the UITH case, thus endangering the lives of millions of our people and casting undeserved aspersions on the efforts of the administration to fight this virus.”

Abdulrazaq declared that while this was not the time to pass the bulk,” however, we reject in totality suggestions in some quarters that the state government was complicit, had prior knowledge of the suspected case at the UITH, or that the isolation centre was not functional.

“These claims are not only far from the truth but they are also irresponsible. We state that the government or the committee was never informed of the case by the UITH authorities until after the death of the COVID-19 patient.

“His treatment was completely shrouded in secrecy. When the government eventually notified of the suspected case after the death, the teaching hospital was specifically directed not to release the corpse until samples were taken from him

“This clear advice was parried as the body was hurriedly interred without the government knowing. The question is who authorised such release knowing how dangerous this was?”

Pleading with the people of the state to play their part in controlling the spread of the pandemic and remain calm, he said it was not the to panic or play politics.

DAILY POST reports that the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Professor A. D. Yusuf, Tuesday directed that all staff of the hospital who had close contact with the deceased COVID-19 patient on the night of his admission or his corpse should proceed on self-isolation.

He further disclosed that Professor A. K. Salami who managed the deceased had been placed on immediate suspension for his unethical conduct, while a medical investigation committee has also been constituted to investigate among other things, the process of admission, management and eventual release of the corpse.

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