A man and woman in Borno State are currently on the run after they had tested positive for COVID-19, officials claim.
The Borno commissioner of health, Salisu Kwayabura, disclosed this information to journalists at the daily briefing of the Committee on COVID-19.
He said, “two patients, Abbas Kaka Hassan, a 24-year-old male and Hauwa Mohammed, 42-year-old female, are on the run after testing positive to COVID-19 at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital in the metropolis.”
He said the male is from Layin tanki suburbs in Gwange II ward, while the woman lives in the Shuwari ward.
PREMIUM TIMES learned the male patient could earlier not be reached by the state COVID-19 response team even after his blood sample was collected. He later reportedly switched off his phone.
“When samples of patients with contacts to index cases are collected, they are normally advised to go on self-isolation,” the health commissioner said.
“They give their contacts so they can be reached when the results are out. This is the standard medical procedure. You can’t detain someone with suspected contact. We do not have the lawful powers to do that.
“Other patients were also allowed to leave but they came into isolation centres and we have 19 of them in two isolation centres. However, the young man in question chose to go into hiding”.
Mr Kwayabura called on anyone who tests positive for the disease not to regard it as a death sentence as the majority of those who test positive have recovered from it.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered the two patients at large are not the first to attempt an escape.
A male IDP, who had tested positive after participating in the funeral prayer for the first index case, also escaped while being taken to the isolation centre.
He reportedly went back to the IDP camp where officials later picked him up after his neighbours raised alarm.
The NCDC had, last night, announced that Borno’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 had shot up to 30 cases after 18 more persons tested positive.
Mr Kwayabura explained that “16 of Borno’s COVID-19 cases emanated from community transmission, while 14 others were connected with the index ‘and another case.'”