…Tracks 75 Contacts Of Victim
By Adeniyi Adedeji, Ilorin
Kwara State governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has called for an immediate official sanction against Professor Alakija Kazeem Salami of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, UITH, Ilorin.
Professor Salami reportedly caused the Kwara COVID-19 index case; a United Kingdom, UK, returnee, to be admitted in an unprofessional manner, in the guise of food poisoning, at the UITH, where the patient died few hours later.
The death of the index case in Ilorin and the hurried burial, without official notification to the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, in Offa, had caused strong panic both in the hospital, Ilorin, the state capital; and Offa where the deceased COVID-19 patient was buried.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, the governor said; “We demand the immediate suspension of Professor Alakija Kazeem Salami and every other official of UITH, whose professional misconducts brought us down this path, pending the outcome of the ongoing probe.”
Consequent upon the unfortunate development, Governor AbdulRazaq, at the press conference disclosed that he had “signed the newly prepared Kwara State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020 into law to provide legal backings for the local management of the global health situation.”
Reiterating that the regulation was built around some enabling laws, like the Quarantine Act of 2004, which empowers the state to invoke various drastic measures in the days ahead, if occasion calls for it; the governor gave highlights of the regulation to include “sanctions for anyone caught endangering public safety in whatever form, or seeking to unfairly profit from our collective vulnerability and need for essential commodities at this time.”
He added, “The government is doubling down in the ongoing sensitisation of the public across all media platforms on the danger of this virus. We need everyone to join this public advocacy in their various localities without exposing themselves or others to danger.”
Meanwhile, the government, through the Rapid Response Team of the Medical Advisory Committee, had done a contact tracing of 75 persons, who have had contacts with COVID-19 cases and the suspected ones at the UITH.
Pleading with Kwarans not to panic or see the pandemic Coronavirus as a death sentence, but see it as a global challenge that was being tackled by competent scientists the world over, Governor AbdulRazaq implored the people to strictly observe personal hygiene, avoid crowded places and call the state Task Force on COVID-19 on the designated numbers being regularly aired on radio and television channels.