COVID-19 patients hold health workers hostage

Gov. Ganduje and his team inspecting the Kano State isolation center [PHOTO: Kano Govt.]
Gov. Ganduje and his team inspecting the Kano State isolation center [PHOTO: Kano Govt.]

Two medical doctors and one nurse were reportedly held hostage on Thursday by COVID-19 patients at Kwanar Dawakin isolation centre in Kano.

A former chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association in Kano, Aminu Muhammad, announced this while featuring on WAZOBIA FM’s ‘make una wake up show’ on Friday morning.

He said the health workers were on a ward round when the incident occurred.

Mr Muhammad, a professor of medicine, explained that the fully kitted workers with personal protective equipment were locked in a room with a COVID-19 patient for about four hours. He said they were almost suffocating before they broke the door and forced their way out of the ward.

One of the patients admitted at the isolation centre also called the radio programme but gave a slightly different narrative of what transpired.

The patient, who declined to be named, confirmed the protest to WAZOBIA FM. He said their action was to protest inadequate attention and the delay in testing and confirm their status after seven days of being on medication.

“What happened really was that they are not attending to the patients and they kept on deceiving the patients they are coming and they won’t come. At the end of the day, patients might end up sleeping with hunger, sleeping without drugs.”

“For example, you can imagine somebody spending two weeks (coughing) and still not done his first test because you supposed to do first test after seven days to know if you are now negative. But many of us spending two weeks or 10 days now without first test, for how long are we going to stay here?”

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He said the affected health workers did not break the door, rather one of the patients who held the key eventually released it following the intervention of the leader of the health workers at the centre.

When contacted, the Coordinator of the Kano State Task Force on COVID-19, Tijjani Hussain, said he was not aware of the development.

He promised to find out and revert as soon as possible.

As of Friday afternoon, Kano State has recorded 482 cases of coronavirus including 55 recorded on Thursday.

A total of 13 people are recorded to have died from the disease in the state.



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