The Kwara State Government has announced that 75 people who had direct and indirect contacts with Kwara State’s suspected index case and two confirmed cases of COVID-19 have gone into self-isolation.
Among the 75 people in self-isolation are 28 staff members of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), who attended to the suspected Coronavirus patient before his death last Thursday.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who made the announcement in a press brief on Tuesday April 7, also confirmed that a senior consultant of UITH, Prof. Alakija Salami was suspended for his role in the admission and release of the corpse of a late suspected case of Coronavirus.
“Contact tracing by the Rapid Response Team of the medical advisory committee has so far netted 75 persons who have had contacts with the cases, including the suspected case at the UITH.
” I have directed the immediate suspension of Prof. Salami and other officials of UITH whose professional misconduct brought us down this path.”
The Kwara State Governor disclosed that he signed a regulation on April 6, to give legal backing to the government’s measures to contain COVID-19 in the state. He said the regulation he signed into law also allows “sanctions against anyone caught endangering public safety in whatever form or seeking to unfairly profit from our collective vulnerability and need for essential commodities at this time.”
“Our job is cut out for us and we are definitely not dropping the ball. Contact tracing by the Rapid Response Team of the medical advisory committee has so far netted 75 persons who have had contacts with the cases and the suspected case at UITH.
”This is a trying moment for the whole of mankind. But we are definitely not helpless or without reasonable preparation in Kwara State. We are also blessed with committed professionals who are up to the task and willing to stand up and be counted at this time — while also taking all precautions.
“COVID-19 is a global pandemic. Contracting it is neither a death sentence nor an indication of guilt. We urge Kwarans to avoid crowded space, isolate themselves, and call our helplines if they have just returned from places of interest in the last three weeks.
“The government will quickly extend the ongoing fumigation exercise to these places of interest, including Offa, where contamination may have occurred as a result of this infectious disease.
“Notwithstanding our preparation, we are not ashamed to say that Kwara State will be glad to get all the help it can receive at this moment.
”The government is utterly disappointed at the breach of trust that played out in the UITH case.”
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UITH, Prof Abdullah Yusuf also confirmed that 28 staff of the hospital are in self-isolation.
He said at a seperate press conference;
“We are working with the Kwara State Government Technical Committee on COVID-19 to contact-trace all that attended to the index case.
“Already, all UITH staff members who had close contact with the deceased patient on the night of his admission, or his corpse have been ordered to proceed on self-isolation.
“Besides, the ‘A and E’ ward and the ambulance used to convey his corpse have been promptly fumigated.
“With all these level of preparedness and precautionary measures, we were taken aback to discover how a very senior consultant of this hospital had facilitated the admission of a suspected case of COVID-19 at the Accident and Emergency section of the hospital on the night of Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
“We were fed with information concerning suspected food poisoning, as the cause of the death of the patient. But we later got another lead to the likely cause of the death of the said patient.
“In fact, it was shocking to us that the wife of the deceased patient had tested positive for the deadly virus as announced yesterday (Monday) by the kwara State Covid-19 Technical committee.
“Without belabouring the narrative that led to the unfortunate incident, I humbly request you to use channels of your various media to help convey the remote and immediate decisions we had taken on the professor who facilitated the admission of the patient.
“The management of the hospital has placed Prof A. K. Salami on immediate suspension as a senior consultant in this hospital bothering on his unethical conduct in the admission, management and eventual release of the corpse of the suspected COVID -19 patient who died in the hospital on April 2, 2020.”
Prof Abdullah Yusuf told newsmen that the institution had set up an investigation committee to determine the culpability or otherwise of Prof Salami.