EXCLUSIVE: How six Covid-19 patients escaped from Osun Isolation Centre

AS the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause worry in Nigeria, The ICIR can authoritatively report that one of the epicentres of the virus, Osun State, had an unfortunate escape of six infected patients from the state’s isolation centren.

This confirmation is coming despite repeated denials by the state government through the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode.

A reliable source within the government confided in our reporter that the six persons had once escaped from the centre last week, but were all traced to their respective homes and  brought back to the isolation centre.

But during a downpour on Friday, the six patients, The ICIR learnt escaped again from the centre and returned to their families.

Their escape from the Ejigbo Isolation Centre, inside source revealed to our reporter followed the poor conditions of the centre.

“The patients were heard complaining about the conditions at the centre,” said the source who preferred anonymity.  “They were pressured to return home where native herbs can be proffered to cure their illness.”

A director in the State Ministry of Health who spoke with The ICIR said that three of the escapees had been found and returned to the isolation centre, while two others had also been convinced to return and were already on their way back at the time of filing this report.

With this development, Osun state has one Covid-19 patient at large. This, perhaps, informed the state government’s position that only one person escaped.

In a statement issued after news of the six patients broke, Egbemode insisted that, after a headcount at the Isolation Centre, only one person could not be accounted for by officials stationed at  centre out of the 127 persons.

But she admitted in the statement titled “The Truth about Ejigbo returnees – Osun Govt,” the state government has “not issued any statement to confirm or deny such story.”

“Besides, a quick check showed that the name and number of the first person on the list of the purported missing patients, is indeed currently in our facility in Ejigbo,” she said.



    The Commissioner recalled the state government  about a week ago,  received 127 returnees from Ivory Coast, who have been kept to avoid community transfer of the virus.

    She stated further that the State Government is currently investigating the matter and will ensure that the missing person is brought back to the Isolation centre and “we will also ensure we trace all his contacts.”

    “We want to reiterate that any official(s) found culpable will also be dealt with accordingly.”

    Osun State is, as at press time, number three on the list of states with Covid-19 in Nigeria with total number of 20 persons infected.

    Samad Uthman is a multimedia journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting. He tweets @sarmerdk2 and can be shot through [email protected]

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