There was pandemonium on Friday afternoon at the Immigration office, Alagbon Close, Lagos, as a Chinese woman fell down and started vomiting.
Passport seekers, immigration officers, visitors, including policemen and military personnel took to their heels on sighting the woman.
Many people were injured while some lost their documents as they scampered for safety.
An Immigration officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity said it was as if death had visited the place as workers and visitors fled for their lives.
“The lady came to the operations department for some visa issues; she wore a mask. She came on Thursday but she could not finish what she came to do. She repeated her visit today (Friday), but this time around she did not mask her face. As she was being attended to she started feeling dizzy, fell down and started coughing and vomiting.
“My brother, everybody took to their heels,’’ he declared.
Continuing, he said: “The worst of it all was that her relations wanted to take her away, but our officers prevented them. We were able to kit ourselves and took her to a room. But those who were not courageous enough hurriedly closed for the day while people who came for one transaction or the other abandoned whatever they came to do. The worst thing is that we have been calling health emergency numbers and they have been promising that they were coming but we are yet to see them. But we are keeping vigil until they come. We won’t let her go.”
While adding that the woman kept insisting that nothing was wrong with her, the officer said she would not be allowed to go until health officers carried out comprehensive check on her.
‘’We are not saying that she has any virus, but because of the symptoms she was exhibiting, we won’t let her go till medical experts examine her. Yes, we are handing her over to the appropriate office and not to her embassy,” he declared.
A visitor to the Immigration office John Madu who witnessed the drama said: “I only came to make inquiry when I saw people running helter skeletal and I joined in the race. I was later told that a Chinese woman fell down and started vomiting. My fear is that they said she was also there the previous day.
“If she tests positive to the virus, how will the government locate those that she would have had contacts with? We are lucky because people were not as many as they used to be in the office because of the travels ban to certain countries. Before now, people used to visit the place in their hundreds, but they were not up 100 people at the scene on the occasion.”
As at 5 pm, emergency health workers being expected were yet to arrive the Immigration office while heavily armed Immigration officers were keeping her under close surveillance.