Saturday, April 11, 2020

Anambra COVID-19 index case: St. Joseph Hospital says, we’re not aware - ITREALMS


The authorities at the St. Joseph’s Hospital, Adazi-Nnukwu in Anambra State where the suspected first index case for the state purportedly emerged, has reacted to the result announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), saying that they have not been communicated and only heard about the result over the Internet news portals, reports ITREALMS.

Administrator of the hospital, Rev. Fr. Jerome N. Okafor told ITREALMS on Saturday after in reaction to the news that efforts to reach NCDC proved difficult despite intervention of the state government officials including the Commissioner of Health, in order to ascertain the position of their patient, whom NCDC has now declared as COVID-19 victim, even after such patient has since been treated and discharged.

An official press statement available to ITREALMS, the administrator noted that his office has been undated with calls over what actually happened, hence they want to put the records straight, whilst respecting the privacy of its patient.

According to him, “The patient was admitted at Dr. Joe Nwiloh Heart Center of St. Joseph’s Hospital for heart problem on Tuesday April 7, 2020. A Medical Officer who attended to him noticed that he was coughing out blood, and was shivering. He suspected that the patient has symptoms of COVID-19 and informed the Cardiologist who admitted him. He did not think that the symptoms indicated were strong enough to suggest the virus infection.

“However, he authorized the staff of the center to call the office the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC). They did so several times. Each time the office assured them that their staff was coming. After sixteen hour of waiting the authority of the center decided to send a delegation to the office of the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Amaku Universtity Teaching Hospital, Awka.

“The team was able to persuade the CMD to send people to come and take the man’s sample for testing and to transfer him to Government designated isolation centers. It is supposed that he consulted with the Commissioner for Health and the Governor and eventually a team of medical personnel was sent to collect the man’s sample. The team said the result will be ready within forty-eight hours,” he said.

But after 48 hours, he said, the medical team delegated to follow up the case called NCDC office, but all they could get after several phone calls was a verbal report that the index patient is positive.

“Up till now the Hospital Administration has not received any official report of the result of the test. What we have today all over the media is that St. Joseph’s Hospital has a patient with COVID-19 virus,” he decried, wondering what is the motive behind that, stressing that certainly not in the interest of the common people that the hospital serves nor that of the patient.

“The staff of the Center was very professional in their approach to the issue,” he insisted.

Meanwhile, he pointed out that since the office responsible for taking up the matter was duly informed, the sample was taken, but the result was not forthcoming; the staff continued to treat the patient for the symptom of heart disease which he presented.

“He got better and was discharged because he insisted on going back to his house. The patient did not run away from the Hospital. He paid his medical bill. The Center discharged because the major reason why he was suspected of the virus was that he was not forthcoming with the information about his travel history,” he said.

The administrator, maintained that St. Joseph’s has not been “officially communicated that patient whose sample the NCDC collected from one its units tested positive of COVID-19.”

Fr. Okafor further expressed surprise and alleged that suspected blackmail of the Hospital is calculated.

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