Two patients – Abbas Kaka Hassan (a 24-year-old male) and Hauwa Mohammed (42-year-old female) are on the run after testing positive to COVID-19 at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital in Borno State.
The male is of Layin Tanki in Gwange 11 while the woman lives in Shuwari ward.
While briefing journalists, the Commissioner of Health and Secretary to the State Response Team for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19, Dr Salisu Kwayabura, confirmed this on Sunday at the Government House in Maiduguri.
Kwayabura said the male patient was 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
According to the Commissioner, 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 the results are out.
“This is the standard medical procedure. You can’t 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,” he said.
While noting that a diligent surveillance and investigation team is working very hard to track the patient, he called on anyone who tests positive to the disease not to regard it as a death sentence as the majority of those who test positive have recovered from the disease.
He, however, stated that 16 of COVID-19 cases emanated from community transmission, while 14 others were connected with the index and another case.
The state government also called on citizens to take serious preventive measures across the state.