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Angry COVID-19 patients in Kano attack, detain health workers

All hell was let loose at the isolation centre in Kwanar Dawaki, Kano State on Thursday as COVID-19 patients attacked some medical personnel, locking some of them up for four hours.

Among the medical staff held captive by the angry patients were two doctors and a nurse.

The patients were protesting alleged poor conditions in which they were kept.

A similar allegation by COVID-19 patients sparked a similar protest in Gombe yesterday; the second in one week.

A former chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Kano Branch, Prof. Aminu Mohammed, broke the news of the Kano health personnel’s ordeal to reporters in the city yesterday.

The victims, dressed in their personal protection equipment (PPE) at the time, were on a routine ward round check when the patients struck, according to Mohammed.

They reportedly rounded up the victims and locked them up in an empty room at the centre.

After four hours of searing heat in the room, the victims had to force open the door to regain their freedom.

The head of the State COVID-19 technical response team, Dr Tijjani Husaini, said he was not aware of the matter when he was contacted yesterday for his response

However, one of the patients who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were displeased with the way they were being treated at the centre.

He claimed that for the one week they had been quarantined at the centre, they had not been subjected to any medical examination to determine if they had the virus or not.

Kano State currently has 490 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 13 deaths excluding some attributed to a “strange” disease.

Among the victims of the ‘strange disease’ are prominent citizens of the state, including Alhaji Tafida Abubakar Ila Auta Bawo who, until last Saturday, was the Emir of Rano; the Head of Communications, United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Kano Field Office, Mallam Rabiu Musa; a former Commissioner for Education in the state, Alhaji Aminu Yahaya; and a senior lecturer at Bayero University Kano (BUK), Prof. Monsuru Lasun Emiola.

Most hit by the disease are Dala, Fagge, Tarauni, Nasarawa, Gwale and Kano Municipal areas.

Engr. Muazu Magaji, who was dropped two weeks ago as Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in Kano State for allegedly mocking the late Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, said  he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Magaji, writing on his Facebook wall, said: “Dear all, I do truly apologise to you not getting across to me on phone or messages. I have been indisposed due to ongoing health challenges some of us are going through in Kano. In Sha Allah, it will be well.

“This morning, my NCDC test is out. I have been confirmed COVID-19 positive and have been moved to one of the state facilities… pray for us.”

Many of the almajiris recently repatriated from Kano to their states of origin have also tested positive to COVID-19.

A Federal Government medical team is currently in the state investigating the problem and helping to arrest the situation. It is being assisted by health experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Salihu Yakasai, spokesman for Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, said many of the victims had underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, among others sicknesses.

He told German based radio, DW Hausa, that patients with the underlying diseases “died due to inadequate medical attention from government owned and private health facilities in the state amidst fear of COVID-19 infection.

“These are categories of people that need special attention which they are no longer getting from the health personnel because of fear of coronavirus,” Yakasai said.

Gombe patients stage fresh protest over ‘poor welfare’

COVID-19 patients at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe, also embarked on a fresh protest yesterday over alleged poor treatment.

It was their second in a week.

The patients alleged that government was not giving them adequate attention even after their first protest on Tuesday.

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