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Abia Recaptures Runaway COVID-19 Patient, Now in Isolation Centre

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From Ignatius Okpara, Umuahia

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Abia State government, southeast, Nigeria, Saturday evening hinted that a suspected COVID-19 patient it had earlier declared wanted has been apprehended, and now in its custody.

Commissioner for Information in the state, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, who made this known in a press statement issued on Saturday in Umuahia, the Abia state, capital, said the suspect, one Vincent Proper, had disappeared, after alerting the National Control Room of National Center for Disease and Control (NCDC) of manifesting symptoms of COVID-19.

He said the suspect, was arrested Saturday morning at a-yet-to be disclosed location in the commercial city of Aba, in the state, through the efforts of the security operatives

The Commissioner who recounted the efforts it took the state government to trap the suspect, commended security agents for their active role in recapturing him.

Okiyi-Kalu said that from facts gathered, the real name of the suspected victim is not Vincent Prosper as he had claimed when he called NCDC National Control Room.

He added that the COVID-19 suspect as at the time of filing the report, at the Abia State COVID-19 Center at the Amachara General Hospital in Umuahia South Local Government Area of the state was not forthcoming.

“COVID-19 patient COVID-19 medical Rapid Response (RR) Team in the state received information from NCDC national control room on a suspected COVID-19 patient named Vincent Prosper who called them from Abia State to report among other things that he was manifesting symptoms of the virus and recently had contacts with a confirmed patient in neighboring Akwa Ibom state in addition to recently returning from Lagos.

“Our team immediately swung into action and called the number forwarded, took notes and asked the individual to isolate himself pending our arrival to take samples for testing.

“On arrival at the given location, he disappeared and was later to confess that he saw the ambulance and the fully kitted RR-team, lost courage, detested the possibility of being locked down and decided to switch off his phone and disappear into thin air.

“We continued to look for him quietly and at some point, got him again on the phone and he gave us a wrong address at Azikiwe Road and a team was immediately dispatched to the location but did not find him there.

“At that point, we decided to enlist the services of a top security agency in the state to find him and also alerted members of the public yesterday regarding the situation in the hope that he would voluntarily come forward, he never did.

“But late last night, the security agency pinned his location down and this morning our RR-team stormed the location with security agents and took him into custody at our isolation facility at Amachara where we have now collected samples from him and dispatched to NCDC for testing.

“He is now fully cooperating, and all necessary information given, including the fact that while he actually recently returned from Lagos he didn’t visit Akwa Ibom state since his return though he resides in a border community to Akwa Ibom State.

“His real name is also not Vincent Prosper and he actually made the call to NCDC Control room.

“It is important to inform our people that COVID-19 is not a death sentence, and nobody should be stigmatized because of it.

He said: “If you suspect you are showing symptoms of the disease please call 0700 2242 362 and we will confidentially do the needful. So far, all samples tested from Abia State returned negative and we continue to handle issues with utmost confidentiality and professionalism.” the commissioner stated.


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