How UITH Suspended Professor in Kwara

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* Govt commences contact-tracing of 75 persons

Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

The confirmation of two new cases of COVID-19 in Kwara State has led to suspension of a Senior Consultant with the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Prof. Alakija Kazeem Salami, by its management.

This is coming as the state governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, yesterday disclosed that the state government had commenced contact-tracing on about 75 persons who had contact with the two COVID-19 patients in the state in order to curb the spread of the infectious disease.

The suspension of Salami was contained in a terse statement issued in Ilorin and signed by the Director of Administration of UITH, Dr. David. S. Odaibo.

The two-paragraph letter titled: “Immediate Suspension of Professor A.K Salami, read: ‘’The management of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital hereby suspends Prof. A K Salami as a Senior Consultant in the hospital.

“This is as a result of his unethical conduct in the admission, management and eventual release of the corpse of a suspected COVID-19 patient who died in the hospital on April 3, 2020.”

Before then, the UITHC had in a letter with Ref no UITHMB/DA/PER/86/1/232 and dated April 6, 2020 signed by Odaibo, set up a 10-man committee under the chairmanship of Professor EO Afolayan, to among others, investigate the allegations of a suspected COVID-19 patient that was brought in by Salami and later died on April 3, 2020.

The suspended professor had claimed in his report at the hospital that the victim, Alhaji Jimoh Muideen, a chartered accountant, who recently returned from the UK for one of his children’s graduation ceremony, actually suffered from food poisoning.

It was several anonymous calls that revealed that the victim actually self-isolated himself since his return and that Salami actually brought him to the hospital when things went out of hand before the victim died the following day.

The UK returnee was later taken to his hometown of Offa for burial, according to Islamic rites.

THISDAY gathered that it was when the Kwara State government on Monday raised an alarm that the two COVID-19 cases were traced to the UK returnee, according to a statement by the spokesman of the state’s COVID-19 Technical Committee, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, that the UITH became alarmed and took action.

The victim’s death led the management to embark on fumigation of the emergency department of the hospital.

Apart from this, the hospital advised for self-isolation of close contacts of the deceased while in the hospital and the follow-up by the hospital’s COVID-19 committee.

Following the confirmation of two cases of COVID-19 in Offa, the government yesterday announced a total shutdown of the ancient town to contain community transmission and save people’s lives.

This shutdown will become effective at 6pm local time on Wednesday April 8th.

This directive is pursuant to the Kwara State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020.

Meanwhile, Governor Abdulrasaq, has disclosed that the state government had commenced contact-tracing on about 75 persons who had contact with the two COVID-19 patients in the state in order to curb the spread of the infectious disease.

Alhaji Abdulrazaq disclosed this yesterday during a press briefing held at the Government House, Illorin

He said, “Yesterday (Monday) evening , April 6, 2020, we received the official report from the NCDC of samples earlier taken to the Ibadan test centre.

“The test confirmed that Kwara State now has two cases of COVID-19. The first is the wife of a man who recently returned from UK and the second case is a diabetic patient who also had a travel history to the UK.

“He came into the country on March 18. He has since gone into self-isolation with his wife. Following reasonable suspicion, sample was taken from him and he has now been confirmed positive”.

The governor added, “Our job is cut out for us and we are definitely not dropping the ball as contact tracing by the Rapid Response Team of the medical advisory committee has so far netted 75 persons that include 28 medical staffs of UITH who have had contacts with the cases and the suspected case at UITH”.