Developing Story: Humanitarian Worker In Borno Dies Of COVID-19

A humanitarian worker in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Borno State died of COVID-19 Saturday evening at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), a competent source told HumanAngle.

The victim is likely the first COVID-19 positive case in Borno State as no official statement yet.

A retired anesthetic nurse working with a Non-Governmental Organization in the IDP camp in Pulka, Gwoza local government Area, was admitted a few days ago when his condition worsened after he fell ill over a week ago, the source said.

HumAngle learnt that physicians who treated the victim at UMTH apparently did not subject him to a COVID-19 test, raising fears in both the hospital and the IDP camp where he worked.

Officials of the state government are in a panic because the aid worker had sustained contact with several of his colleagues within and outside UMTH, being a health worker himself, the source said.

Borno State authorities are worried about the fate of thousands in the IDPs camp across the state who might have come in contact with the victim, the source added.

Hours after the death of the victim in Maiduguri, friends, neighbours, and relatives of the deceased gathered at his residence to condole with his family, unaware that the residence might be a source of spreading the virus further, sources said.

The failure of authorities at UMTH to notice the case early enough has raised a lot of questions.

A member of staff of the hospital said, “this is recklessness on our part, but also not the time to blame either the NGO or UMTH, this is the time to act as quickly as possible to curb the spread.”

An official of the Borno State government who is not authorized to speak told HumAngle that the state capital would soon go into lockdown to curb further spread of the virus as soon as they receive confirmation from the NCDC.

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Anita Eboigbe

Anita Eboigbe is a journalist and data analyst with nearly a decade of media and communications experience in Nigeria. She has expertise in human interest reporting, data reporting, interactive content development and media business management. Anita has written for several national and international publications with a focus on communication for development. She holds an honours degree in Mass Communication and several certifications in data analysis and data journalism.

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