*Abbas, 24 year old COVID-19 Patient Found 2am, Now At Isolation Centre

* Huawa Still At Large

Dr. Salisu Kwayabura

Abbas Kaka Hassan, a 24 year-old male, who tested positive for COVID-19 has been traced around 2am, in the early hours of today in Maiduguri, Borno’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Salisu Kwayabura has confirmed.

Hassan, who was tested at UMTH’s COVID-19 laboratory, was declared at large yesterday, after his phones and that of his mother were off.

A combined team of health surveillance and investigation team, backed by a police escort, traced the patient in a critical state at his family house in Gwange 11. He was immediately moved on stretcher and is now on ventilator at an isolation centre.

Dr. Kwayabura said, health workers are doing everything humanly possible to revive the patient while a contact tracing and surveillance team has been deployed to identify persons who may have had direct and indirect contacts with him, for risks assessment, isolation advise and collection of samples for tests.

The Commissioner however said, that Hauwa Mohammed, 42 year-old female, who also tested positive at UMTH test laboratory, is still at large and urged her to as a matter or urgency, report to the hospital even as a combination of health surveillance experts and security officials are making all efforts to trace her.

Dr Kwayabura reiterated his call on citizens who test positive not to stay away from isolation centres but come forward for help, noting that the chance of recovering from Covid-19 is higher than the chance of dying from the disease.

He then called on members of the public to show empathy and compassion rather than stigmatize anyone who tests positive because stigmatization only keeps patients away from isolation centres and make them spread infections among citizens that may include those who stigmatize them.

Recall that in it’s Covid-19 media update briefing on Sunday, April 26, 2020, Borno state commissioner of health and secretary to the state’s high powered response team for the prevention and control of covid-19, had alerted the public that 2 positive Covid-19 patients were on the run, adding that 16 of Borno’s cases under isolation were from community transmission.

The two patients, Abbas Kaka Hassan, a 24 year-old male, who is from layin tanki in Gwange 11 and Hauwa Mohammed, 42 year-old woman, who lives in Shuwari ward, had absconded from medical custody, after testing positive to Covid-19 at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital in the metropolis.

According to Dr Kwayabura the male patient (Abbas) had been in initial telephone contact with the response team after his sample was collected, but eventually switched off his phone when he learnt he tested positive.

He also disclosed that a phone number through which the patient’s mother was in touch with the team, has also been switched off.

“When samples of patients with contacts to index cases are collected, they are normally advised to go on self-isolation. They give their contacts so they can be reached when results are out. This is the standard medical procedure. You cant 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”.

Dr Kwayabura admonished anyone who tests positive of the disease not to regard it as a death sentence as majority of those who tested positive have recovered from the disease, even as he confirmed that 16 of Borno’s covid-19 cases emanated from community transmission, while 14 others were connected with the index and another case.

The health commissioner equally restated the No face mask, no market directive of the State government and stressed the intention of the response team to ensure that anyone entering major markets at the relaxation of lockdown on Monday, must wear a face mask which can be made of cloth material if one does not have the medical mask.

He said the response team would be making masks available while hand washing points will also be increased to ensure hands are washed at entry and exit points.

The briefing was attended by the state commissioner for information, special advisers on Information, Public Relations and strategy, the state director of NOA amongst other members of the response team.

Reported by Isa Gusau (for media component of Borno state high powered response team for the prevention and control of COVID-19)

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