Coronavirus: UK returnee conceals truth, dies at UITH

University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, UITH has reacted to reports that a coronavirus patient died in its custody on the 1st of April, 2020.

Reports over the weekend claimed that UITH concealed information regarding the death of a patient who is a returnee from the United Kingdom(UK).

But, a statement signed by UITH Chairman Medical Advisory Committee Dr. A. O. Saka said the deceased, a 57-year-old man was labeled suspected ‘coronavirus case’.

The hospital said the patient was admitted and reported a case of ‘food poisoning’ without revealing details of his travel history.

However, after his death on April 2nd, the hospital received calls notifying it that the deceased was a returnee from the UK.

According to UITH, a professor who brought him to the hospital concealed the information from medical personnel when the deceased was brought to the hospital.

“A 57-year-old, male, Muslim patient was brought into the UITH’s Accident & Emergency Department on the night of Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 in the company of one of the hospital’s Professor of Internal Medicine (a specialist in infectious diseases); with history of abdominal discomfort/stooling, following ingestion of rotten pineapples. He was then admitted and managed as a case of ‘food poisoning’.

“The patient later died in the early hours of the following day, 2nd, April 2020. Following the patient’s death and release of his corpse to the managing Professor (who happens to be his relative) for an immediate burial (in accordance with Islamic rites), the hospital management received several anonymous calls disclosing information of recent travels by the patient and his wife to UK and having been on self-isolation on arrival to Ilorin prior to presentation at A&E (on the advice of the Professor who brought him)- Information that was concealed from the frontline medical personnel at first contact in the A&E; an act that the hospital’s management considered HIGHLY UNETHICAL!

“Based on this presumptive and hidden information, the hospital’s management and the UITH’s COVID-19 Committee immediately swung into action by doing the following:

“The case was labeled a ‘Suspected Case’

“Immediate notification of Kwara State COVID-19 Committee Response Team.

“Proactive fumigation of the hospital Medical Emergency Department. Proactive advice for self-isolation of close contacts of the patient while in the hospital & their follow-up by UITH’s COVID-19 Cmte Team.

“Collaboration with Kwara State COVID-19 Response Team on Contract tracing in the Community.

“Collection of laboratory samples from the deceased’s wife, the Professor, and all others identified as ‘very high risks Contacts’ using National COVID-19 Guideline.

“Institution of other measures at every point of Clinical Services to protect health care staff in the frontlines and other, in cases of deceptions or nondisclosure from Clients with probable symptoms of COVID-19 subsequently.”

UITH while thanking Nigerians for the alert, urged the general public to provide accurate, necessary and timely information that will aid the appropriate standard of care and services.

“The hospital is therefore thankful to these anonymous callers for this vital/critical information.

“The hospital hereby advises the general public to provide accurate, necessary and timely information that will aid appropriate standard of care, services, and prompt response from health workers in the hospital,” it added.

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