By Gbenga Akingbule
An investigation panel set up by the Borno State Government has on Thursday confirmed that 21 health workers and four relatives were infected with coronavirus by the index case before he died .
The state index case , a 56 year old nurse was a staff of MSF otherwise known as Doctors Without Borders in Pulka, Gwoza Local Government area of the state. He was also alleged to have infected his roommate with COVD-19 at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) where he died.
The death of the index case who did not have any recent travel history outside Borno State according to the officials, had sparked off controversy that led Governor Babagana Zulum to set up a comittee to investigate circumstances sorrounding the handling of the state first confirmed coronavirus case .
” I’m setting up a panel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the outbreak and handling of the index case in Borno State.” Governor Zulum had said during a statewide broadcast.
Presenting the report in Maiduguri to the State Governor who was represented by his deputy, Hon Umar Usman Kadafur, the Committee Chairman , Prof Isa Hussaini Marte said a thorough investigation was done to arrive at the report.
Marte , a Prof of Pharmacology said his committee discovered that ” at University of Maiduguri , Babangida Mohammad (the index case ) infected 21 health workers and four of his relatives with covid 19,while one of his room mate at the hospital also tested positive”.
He added ” The committee invited all persons relevant to the index case for interaction and visited Pulka town where the victim was first receiving treatment for interaction with MSF Spain managing the clinic as well as community leaders and stake holders.
” From all the available evidence received from serious investigation it has proved beyond all reasonable doubt that Babangida Mohammad sdied of covid 19.
” The deceased , when he first fell sick, was receiving medication at Pulka MSF clinic but later when his condition deteriorated they ( MSF) decided to take him to UMTH in a commercial bus instead of ambulance and at that time he was having severe complications of coughing, chest pain ,high body temperature, fever and difficulty in breathing among others.” Prof Marte said
However, the investigation Panel Chairman, Prof Marte , who is also Borno State Commissioner of Higher Education did not provide information regarding the origin of how the index case contracted coronavirus – one of the major factors that fueled the controversy as the index case was said not to have had any recent travel history.
Although, the Deputy Governor who received the report commended panel for a job well done and assured that the state government will study carefully all their recommendations and act appropriately .