Kano-based doctor has narrated how a retired ambassador exposed health workers to the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Giving his account in a Facebook post on Thursday morning, Dr James King said the ambassador withheld vital information from medical personnel and visited several locations in Nigeria after trips abroad.
The retired ambassador, a 75-year-old man, became Kano State’s first coronavirus (COVID-19) case on April 11.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje said in a tweet that the ex-ambassador was receiving treatment at the Kwanar Dawarki Research Center
Dr King, however, said he decided to make the matter public because of people who have shown concern about his health and because the incident was already in the news.
“One Alhaji BZ (not real names initials) came to our hospital. He had COVID-19. Unknown to us all,” King wrote.
“While evaluating him, he was asked, ‘How can we help you sir?’ He replied, ‘I’ve been having fever and general body weakness. Please admit me.’ Inquired, ‘For how long now?’ He replied ‘For some days? More questions, ‘Do you have cough, breathlessness or palpitations?’ Alhaji BZ replied, ‘No, I don’t have any of that.’ Many other medical questions were asked and documented.
“Furthermore, ‘Did you travel recently?’ He denied, ‘No.’ He was further evaluated, examined and admitted into a private room upstairs on Friday evening.
“He had contact with two doctors (my boss and I), three nurses and one non-medical staff. It was unknown to us that he had travelled to Germany, the US before returning to my resident state via Abuja travelling by road.
“While travelling by road he stayed briefly in Kaduna before arriving to my resident state on the 25th March, 2020. He lied about all these travel history to us. He also lied about the pertinent coronavirus symptoms, breathlessness and cough. He also hid the fact that he had been to several medical outlets since his return to the state.
“And importantly, he hid the fact that that his samples were taken by NCDC for COVID-19 testing. Of course he denied and lied about all the above in order for him to have our medical care. Putting us all and many others at high risk of the novel pandemic.”
The doctor said they also learnt that before the patient came to their facility, he had attended Friday Juma’at prayers, naming ceremonies and other gatherings.
Kano currently has 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases with one death.
The doctor continued: “While on admission in our facility, a day after admission being a Saturday, we had a Nollywood-like dramatic entrance into our facility by health officials with massive Police presence.
“The major road around our hospital was blocked and made a security restricted area. He was the index case in the state, …reason for this. The officials told us that we had a man in our facility that just tested positive for COVID-19.
“Luckily, my boss, a renowned neurosurgeon, who was still in theatre while rounding off a delicate spinal cord pedicle screw fixation + laminectomy surgery had to be told. He derobed and met the officials.
“There was an order from the Governor of the state to lock down the hospital immediately to prevent further spread. Alh BZ was whisked away to a quarantine centre outskirt of the state.”
James said they were placed on isolation in the hospital while their samples were taken for COVID-19 test.
“For many days, we could not physically reach our families or anyone,” he said.
“Isolated up in the hospital. The waiting began. Days rolled by. Anxiety. All thoughts crept in. At some point, my boss and I told ourselves that if it’s either positive or negative, we will beat the disease.
“In fact we told ourselves that ‘even if its death, so what !!! We will be dying while in service to humanity.’
“When the days rolled by, we began to have some peace. In fact we were playing Fela Anipolakuti’s music loudly. Also had Gospel and several country music played. For many days. Then the tension began.”
He added that the results came out on Wednesday negative for all who had contact with the man.
“We are still waiting to be released from isolation. Two Police vehicles have been in our gate since all these started. They were excited yesterday when our result was released and found to be negative. They are waiting for directives to let us go home. We thank Almighty God for everything. We will keep saving lives. No matter the cost,” he said.