By Michael Olugbode
Fear has gripped residents of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital as two patients, Abbas Hassan, a 24 year-old male and Hauwa Mohammed, 42-year-old female, have ran away after testing positive for COVID-19 at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH).
The male patient is said to be residing at Layin Tanki in Gwange II while the woman lives in Shuwari ward, both in Maiduguri.
Borno State Commissioner for Health and Secretary to the state’s high-powered response team for the prevention and control of COVID-19, Dr. Salisu Kwaya-Bura alerted the public at the team’s daily media briefing held yesterday.
The commissioner said the male patient (Abbas) was in initial telephone contact with the response team after his sample was collected, but eventually switched off his phone when he learnt he tested positive.
He also said a phone number through, which the patient’s mother was in touch with the team was also been switched off.
“When samples of patients with contacts to index cases are collected, they are normally advised to go on self-isolation. They give their contacts so that they can be reached when results are out. This is the standard medical procedure. You cannot detain someone with suspected contact.
“We do not have the lawful powers to do that. Other patients were also allowed to leave but they came into isolation centres and we have 19 of them in two isolation centres. However, the young man in question chose to go into hiding”.
He noted that a diligent surveillance and investigation team is working very hard to track the patient.