The University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), on Sunday announced the recovery and discharge of six COVID-19 patients in its isolation centre.
According to Dr Sanusi Ibrahim, Deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) (Clinicals), in the hospital, the patients were discharged after they twice tested negative to the virus.
Ibrahim made the disclosure on Sunday in Maiduguri while briefing newsmen on the response to the pandemic in Maiduguri.
Ibrahim said that the six discharged patients included four medical staff of the hospital and two other outside patients isolated in the hospital in the last 14 days.
Ibrahim said that a total of nine patients tested negative during the first test but six among them were negative for the second time out of the 24 confirmed COVID-19 cases being managed in the hospital.
He described the development as a “major stride” in the UMTH fight against Coronavirus in its isolation centre.
“The University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital is ready to improve care to our people,” he said.
Ibrahim also described media reports alleging that patients brought to the hospital were labelled COVID-19 positive by the management as misleading.
“This session is particularly important because of the misinformation in the society; some people say that COVID-19 pandemic does not exist, others are saying that the Isolation centres are empty while others centre that when you come to UMTH, you will be labelled as COVID-19 positive.
“Such misinformation undermines government’s efforts in fighting the pandemic and exposes the public to great dangers of laxity in observing the guidelines on its control and prevention.
“So, we are interested in letting people know that indeed we have had people who are positive and today they have tested negative on two occasions and they are free and fit to go home,” Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim also debunked alleged request of N10,000 for testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients at the hospital isolation centre.
He added that the hospital was providing all the services to affected patients free, in line with the protocols of the Federal Government’s Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“UMTH does not collect money for testing and treatment of COVID-19 cases that come into the hospital.
“Their welfare and care are properly catered for by our experts on infectious diseases, microbiologists, physicians, community physicians and general physicians,” he said
He explained that the hospital was working toward improving contact tracing, risk management and community engagement to minimise stigmatisation and spread of the pandemic within the community.
According to him, the hospital is also working to expand its isolation centre to ensure that more rooms are available in readiness to accommodate more people that may test positive.
Also speaking, Dr Musa Kida, Head of Department (HOD) Infectious Diseases and Case Management Team, said most of the patients were admitted with mild moderate diseases.
Kida said the patients were administered medication, rehydration, antibiotics and other drugs while they were also advised to ensure regular exercise while in the isolation centre.
He cautioned the public against flouting the COVID-19 protocol of physical distancing and proper hygiene in order not to be infected by the disease.
Alhaji Usman Wakta, one of the discharged patients, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that he was discharged and tested free from the virus after spending 14 days on admission.
Wakta said he started developing fever, headache and body pain, before he tested positive but thanked God he had fully recovered.
“I want the people to know that COVID-19 is real. I thank Allah that I made it and certified to free from the virus.
“I want to appeal to the public to stay safe by observing physical distancing, constant handwashing and other recommendations by medical expert to prevent COVID-19,” he said
Hadiza Godwin, A health worker, who also tested negative, lauded her colleagues for supporting them to recover from the ailment.
Godwin said she contracted the ailment while on duty at the hospital and hoped that other victims would be discharged as soon as possible.
NAN reports that Borno state has recorded 15 deaths from 159 positive cases as at May 10, 2020.