Following the detection of the first case of novel Coronavirus disease in Nigeria, and the placing in quarantine of the patient, identified as a 44-year-old Italian, at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos (formerly, Infectious Diseases Hospital), a health worker at the hospital said on Friday that the patient was angry and had attempted to escape.
The patient had complained about the state of the isolation centre, our source said.
The high ranking health worker, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity on Friday, decried the ‘very poor quality’ of the isolation centre, lamenting that “the authorities have not matched words with action.”
Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, had said on Friday that the state government had built a facility to handle the situation, adding that the patient was getting better.
Hamzat had said, “It is a lab that can accommodate 100 for now, but it is only one bed that is occupied today. Hopefully, it wouldn’t spread. We are ready and we are well equipped. He (the patient) is there and he is getting better. He is steady. The doctors say he is going to be fine.’’
But the health worker told our correspondent that the Coronavirus index case had been “very upset about the surrounding,” adding that the patient “complained of excessive heat and mosquitoes.”
In an interaction with our correspondent, the health worker, who did not wear any personal protective equipment required of workers in such an environment, said, “The patient wanted to run away yesterday (Thursday). The Italian man, who seems to be an engineer, was very angry that the room where he was kept was very hot.
“There is nothing there (inside the isolation ward) aside from bed and hospital locker. He almost ran away and is still threatening to do that.”
The source said the level of preparedness in Lagos State for infectious diseases such as coronavirus and Lassa fever “is zero.”
An online entry describes the Mainland Hospital, where the Italian is being quarantined, as “an ultra-modern multi-drug resistant tuberculosis treatment centre, with a 40-bed admission facility.”
Our source, who emerged from the Out Patient Department of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, alleged that Lagos State did not have the facility to accommodate individuals who might have come in contact with the Italian.