The Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, on Monday said the COVID-19 index case in the state was sniffed out in a hideout.
Explaining to journalists in Awka how the response team detected the index case, he described the process as excruciating.
He said no fewer than 29 persons comprising health workers, relations and business associates of the index case had been traced and quarantined, awaiting testing.
Okpala said, “We searched for the index case from 8pm to 3am after the National Centre for Disease Control contacted the state government to reveal that a case had been established in Anambra.
“I went with the team to places I ordinarily would not go at that time of the night and I knocked on many doors to wake people up from sleep to ask about the individual.
“The index case left the hospital when he should not have left.”
He said the standard practice was that suspects awaiting result of their samples would be kept in check, “but this man eloped even before the result was out and when I called the doctor managing him and he told me the man was not in the hospital, we had to go looking for him.”
He said the index case was being treated at an isolation centre and he was receiving the best of treatment.
“He has every facility he needs and is also provided with whatever he wants.
“Contact tracing is on vigorously, and we have 29 persons who are contacts of the index case. They include medical personnel at the hospital where he was being previously managed, his relatives and business associates. Those traced are being closely monitored,” he said.
He said the hospital where the case was handled had been fumigated, adding that people should feel free to use the facility.