‘I picked him at the airport, we talked, laughed together,’ Uber driver who picked COVID-19 case in Nigeria reveals

OLUGBENGA Bodunrin, an uber driver, on Friday morning took to his social media handle @boldjohnson07 to announce his contact with the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Bodunrin who claimed he had a conversation and eat with the affected Italian businessman had responded to a report tweeted by the Guardian Newspaper, about the Federal Government’s action to identify all persons who had been in contact with the announced case.

Within 1 hour and 30 minutes, his tweet has generated over 2,000 retweets and 1,600 likes on the social media platform.

As the time of filing this report, the retweets had risen to 3,000 while Likes increased to 2,300.

“I had contact with Italian citizen the day before yesterday. Am an Uber driver I picked him at the airport. We talk gist and laugh together. We even dine together… My name is Olugbenga Bodunrin. 08136464040,” he tweeted at about 10:05 am.

Earlier on Friday morning, the Federal Ministry of Health had announced the first case on its verified Twitter handle.

Prof. Akin Abayomi, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, while briefing the media on updates also explained how the victim was transferred from Ogun to Lagos State after he arrived from Milan.

He was said to have been picked at the airport and taken to a hotel where he spent the night, before heading to Ogun state where his business is situated.

“We have a traveller that started his journey from Milan on Monday the 24th of February. He transited through Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, arrived in Lagos on Monday night at 9 pm.

“He spent the night in a hotel when he left the airport and on Tuesday morning, he moved down to his business in Ogun State where he was engaged by a corporate entity. He carried out business in Ogun state within the confines of that company on Tuesday and, early part of Wednesday,” Abayomi stated.

He said, “In that company where he spent the night in an accommodation which was a confined environment – guest house. By the afternoon, he started developing symptoms of high-fever and body pains.

“He presented to the company’s medical facility where the investigation began. Because he gave a history of his origin from Italy, where we know there is beyond outbreak happening, it was very astute of the medical practitioners in that medical facility to keep him overnight in an isolated environment.

“They contacted us at the Biosecurity unit for assistance and we immediately asked them to transfer the case to Lagos. He was brought to our high containment facility in Yaba on Thursday morning. Immediately he arrived, he was put into strict isolation and the appropriate tests were ordered.”



    Obafemi Hamzat, the Lagos State Deputy also shared similar narration on the foreigner’s movement when he appeared on Your View, a popular Television Programme on Television Continental.

    However, The ICIR reached out several times to the Uber driver, who allegedly picked the reported foreigner, but his line was busy. The text message sent to his line was not replied.

    The line was later switched off.

    The reporter also attempted to contact Uber Office in Nigeria via the phone numbers 0808 169 7334, 0808 169 7335 found on their website, but they were both switched off.

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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