It was an embarrassing situation for Nigeria in the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, also known as Infectious Disease Hospital, where the Italian who brought the deadly coronavirus to the country is being quarantined.
Punch Newspaper and SaharaReporters in separate exclusive reports gathered from “reliable sources” that the Italian whose name has not been revealed since the news broke that he was diagnosed with the virus, attempted to escape from the centre due to poor facilities and inadequate care.
Recall that the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria and the Nigeria Council for Disease Control (NCDC) in a separate press release announced the first confirmed case of the outbreak of the virus in Nigeria on Friday, February 28, 2020.
The press release disclosed that the Italian who has been working in Nigeria brought the virus into the country when he returned from Milan, Italy on Monday, February 24, 2020. It was however till Friday morning that it was confirmed that the Italian was a carrier of the virus.
The case was confirmed in Ogun state where he went for a business visit on Thursday, February 27, 2020, after arriving in Nigeria via the Lagos International Airport. He was then rushed to an isolation centre in Yaba, Lagos.
“Where they kept him is a very uncomfortable place. They put him in just a room with no power supply, the room is not air-conditioned, mosquitoes are biting him and they are not feeding him,” sources told SaharaReporters on Saturday, February 29, 2020.
A medical worker reportedly told PUNCH that “The patient wanted to run away yesterday (Friday). The Italian man, who seems to be an engineer, was very angry that the room where he was kept was very hot. The only thing demarcating the room from other rooms in the ward is a red and white barricade tape. That is where the Italian man that tested positive to coronavirus is kept.”
The medical worker went further to disclose that “There is no single equipment inside that place. It is just like any other regular hospital room with a bed. That building you see that is being repainted is the original place meant to quarantine coronavirus patients.
“As you can see, the place is not ready. The state government is just renovating it, despite the fact that the virus started spreading since December 2019. It is really sad that a country like Nigeria is never ready to medically contain infectious disease outbreak”, he added.
Besides SaharaReporters and Punch Newspaper reports on this issue, Government authorities have not reacted on the alleged attempt by the Italian to escape from the facility.
However, Nigerians on social media have been blasting the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari for not providing a befitting facility in preparation for the outbreak just like other serious-minded countries across the globe did.