The University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital has said the travel history of a deceased patient, suspected to have died of COVID-19, was concealed by the family.
According to a statement, signed by UITH Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, Dr. Aisha Saka, the 57-year-old deceased was labelled suspected “coronavirus case”.
Saka said in the statement: “A 57-year-old, male, Muslim patient was brought into the UITH’s Accident and Emergency Department on the night of Wednesday, April 1 in the company of one of the hospital’s Professor of Internal Medicine.”
She explained that the professor, a specialist in infectious diseases, brought the patient and told the hospital that the patient only has a history of abdominal discomfort/stooling, following ingestion of rotten pineapples.
She added: “The patient was then admitted and managed as a case of ‘food poisoning’.
“The patient later died in the early hours of April 2.
“The hospital also, following the patient’s death, released the corpse to the managing professor, who happens to be the deceased’s relative, for immediate burial in accordance with Islamic rites.
“The hospital management, however, began to receive several anonymous calls with information of recent travels by the patient and his wife to the UK and having been on self-isolation on arrival to Ilorin.”
Saka noted that this information was concealed from the frontline medical personnel at first contact in the Accident and Emergency unit.
She said: “The hospital’s management considered this act highly unethical.”
She said based on this presumptive and hidden information, the hospital’s management and the UITH’s COVID-19 Committee immediately swung into action by labelling the case a “suspected case”.
According to the CMAC, the hospital management immediately notified the Kwara State COVID-19 Committee’s response team for the proactive fumigation of the hospital medical emergency department.
“The hospital also advised everyone, who had close contact with the patient in the hospital to self-isolate and keep close contact with the state COVID-19 team, who will also do contact tracing in the community,” she said.
According to the hospital management, samples from the deceased wife, the professor and all others identified as very high risks contacts have been taken.
Saka said: “The institution has also taken other measures at every point of clinical services to protect health care staff in the frontlines and others in cases of deceptions or nondisclosure from clients with probable symptoms of COVID-19 subsequently.
“The hospital hereby advises the general public to provide accurate, necessary and timely information that will aid appropriate standard of care, services and prompt response from health workers in the hospital.”