© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
How Kwara Govt, Ilorin Varsity hospital tried to cover up Covid-19 related Death
FACTS have emerged of how the management of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) kept the death of a likely victim of Covid-19 in the hospital secret without reporting it to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The ICIR gathered through an official of the hospital who cannot be mentioned because she is not authorised to speak to the press that the victim, whom she referred to as ‘Alhaji’, died on Thursday and was buried on Friday, according to Islamic rites.
She also confirmed that all the medical personnel, including doctors and nurses who came in contact with the deceased are now on self-isolation.
The source confirmed to our reporter that the deceased recently returned from the United Kingdom with his wife where they had gone to attend their son’s convocation.
He reportedly fell sick shortly after returning to Nigeria and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
“When the people at the emergency unit discovered the breathing was very hard, they invited the Chief Anaesthetist of the hospital but he eventually died during the process of resuscitating him,” she said.
The source also disclosed that the wife of the deceased man has been tested,noting that the result was negative although a second test has been carried out and authorities are awaiting the result of that test.
According to the source, the sample of the man’s blood was taken for further test, noting that the result was expected to be out on Sunday or Monday.
The source however confirmed that the symptoms shown by ‘ the Alhaji’ before he died were those of Covid-19.
“The fumigation of the hospital has started this morning and the medical personnel who had contact with him are currently under isolation and awaiting results,” the source said.
Fisayo Soyombo, undercover journalist and former editor of TheCable, had earlier Saturday morning called out the Kwara State government and the management of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital for allegedly covering up the condition of the said covid-19 patient before his death.
Fisayo said in a series of tweets said that the case would not get to the NCDC because “the powers that be did everything to cover it up.” Continuing, he said that “the bigwigs at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) knew. The state govt did, too.”
“After his death, they ensured the body wasn’t tested for the virus. The deceased was buried on Friday without scientific confirmation of COVID-19, but two hospital staff have been giving me details of events that led to his death,” he tweeted.
The journalist said the deceased initially self-isolated in Lagos after returning from the United Kingdom before his friend who is a professor of medicine invited him to Ilorin, where he privately received treatment but yielded no result on day 13 as his condition worsened, so he was taken to UITH.
Soyombo alleged that the deceased was to be moved to the isolation ward but there was an “order from above” for him to remain at the A&E.”
He further tweeted that until he started showing severe Covid-19 symptoms, the doctors who attended to him didn’t know it was the virus before his death.
“The state government claims the death was due to “respiratory illness” while the hospital says it was from “food poisoning,” he wrote.
However, all efforts to reach out to the state government proved abortive as all phone numbers listed on its official website were not connecting when dialled.