Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The purported release of a suspected COVID-19 patient from the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, Delta State, is generating controversy.
While the state maintains the 53-year old patient, identified as Michael Nwachukwu Mordi, was forced out of the treatment centre by his relatives, the patient said doctors approved his discharge from the centre.
Mordi, a Nurse Officer at the Central Hospital, Agbor, is said to have tested positive for the virus on May 23rd and subsequently admitted at the FMC Asaba COVID-19 treatment centre the following day.
— Harrison Gwamnishu (@HarrisonBbi18) June 1, 2020
A statement by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, expressed displeasure over the uncooperative stance of the patient since his admission at the centre.
Dr Ononye said the patient had been very aggressive and continually threatened the caregivers and also rejected his medications.
The statement revealed that at 6 pm June 1st, against all medical advice, Mr Michael Nwachukwu Mordi, reportedly consenting, was forcefully removed from the treatment centre by 7 men who claimed to be his relatives and they did not wear any protective coverings.
But in a telephone chat with our correspondent in Asaba, the affected patient, Mr Mordi, said he was very fine at his residence in Agbor, insisting that he was allowed to go by his caregivers.
‘They asked me to go and my relatives came to take me home. Nobody forced me out of the place,’ he said.
He said that he never exhibited symptoms of the disease, alleging that he was over drugged during his stay at the centre.
‘They were over drugging me at the centre, and there were no symptoms of the disease. They were just drugging me which was now weighing me down and having an adverse effect on me.
‘They were giving me ten tablets each every morning and evening for the past ten days,’ he added.
Dr Ononye stated that the patient and those who forcefully removed him constitute a danger to their own health and that of populations and communities with which they come in contact.
He alerted the general public about the public health danger of associating with the patient and with those who have exposed themselves to him.
The statement strongly advised that the said patient be returned to the treatment centre for proper care and that those who have already been exposed to him should immediately go into supervised self-quarantine for the next 14 days.
Dr Ononye reiterated that the COVID-19 pandemic is real and enjoined the general public to continue to observe all published preventive protocols such as frequent handwashing with soap and water, use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser and use of face masks in public places.
He called on residents to as much as possible avoid crowded places and always maintain physical distancing of at least six feet.
According to the commissioner, persons who have fever, cough or difficulty with breathing should visit the nearest government hospital for proper assessment and possible testing.