The 44-year-old Italian patient of Coronavirus that was placed under quarantine at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, (formerly, Infectious Diseases Hospital), has attempted to escape from the facility, Daily Correspondents has learned.
A health worker at the hospital said on Friday that the patient was angry and had attempted to escape, given the poor condition of the isolation centre.
The high ranking health worker, who spoke to The PUNCH under the condition of anonymity on Friday, decried the ‘very poor quality’ of the isolation centre, lamenting that “the authorities have not matched words with action.”
Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, had said on Friday that the state government had built a facility to handle the situation, adding that the patient was getting better.
Hamzat had said, “It is a lab that can accommodate 100 for now, but it is only one bed that is occupied today. Hopefully, it wouldn’t spread. We are ready and we are well equipped. He (the patient) is there and he is getting better. He is steady. The doctors say he is going to be fine.’’
But the health worker said the Italian patient had been “very upset about” the surrounding, adding that the patient “complained of excessive heat and mosquitoes.”
He said, “The patient wanted to run away yesterday (Friday). The Italian man, who seems to be an engineer, was very angry that the room where he was kept was very hot.
“There is nothing there (inside the isolation ward) aside from bed and hospital locker. He almost ran away and is still threatening to do that.”
The source said the level of preparedness in Lagos State for infectious diseases such as Coronavirus and Lassa fever “is zero.”
An online entry describes the Mainland Hospital, where the Italian is being quarantined, as “an ultra-modern multi-drug resistant tuberculosis treatment centre, with a 40-bed admission facility.”
Tbe source, who emerged from the Out Patient Department of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, alleged that Lagos State did not have the facility to accommodate individuals who might have come in contact with the Italian.
According to the source, the facility that is meant to accommodate both suspected and confirmed Coronavirus cases is still undergoing renovation “and might take a while” before it can function fully.
He also revealed that the isolation area was a room in one of the wards, and that it was quickly vacated to accommodate the index case.
The source alleged, “The only thing demarcating the room from other rooms in the ward is a red and white barricade tape. That is where the Italian man that tested positive to Coronavirus is kept.
“There is no single equipment inside that place. It is just like any other regular hospital room with a bed. That building you see that is being repainted is the original place meant to quarantine Coronavirus patients.
“As you can see, the place is not ready. The state government is just renovating it, despite the fact that the virus started spreading since December 2019. It is really sad that a country like Nigeria is never ready to medically contain infectious disease outbreak.