ABIA APPREHENDS, QUARANTINES FLEEING SUSPECTED CORONAVIRUS PATIENT

The Abia State Government says it has re-arrested a fleeing COVID-19 suspect in the state.

The state Commissioner for Information, John Kalu, said the Abia State COVID-19 Medical Rapid Response Team received information from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and immediately acted on it.

He said, “The NCDC said a suspected COVID-19 patient named Vincent Prosper called them from Abia State to report, among other things, that he was manifesting symptoms of the virus and recently had contacts with a confirmed case in neighbouring Akwa Ibom State in addition to recently returning from Lagos State.

“Our team immediately swung into action and called the number forwarded, took notes and asked the individual to isolate himself pending our arrival to take samples for testing.

“However, on arrival at the given location, the suspect disappeared. He later confessed that he saw the ambulance and the fully-kitted RR-team, lost courage, detested the possibility of being locked down and decided to switch off his phone and disappear into thin air.

“We continued to look for him quietly and at some point, got him again on the telephone and he gave us a wrong address on Azikiwe Road and a team was immediately dispatched to the location but did not find him there.”

The commissioner, also a member of the state committee on the virus said, the RR- Team decided to enlist the services of a top security agency in the state to find him and also alerted members of the public regarding the situation in the hope that he would voluntarily come forward.

“He never did! But late last night, the security agency pinned his location down and this morning our RR-team stormed the location with security agents and took him into custody at our isolation facility in Amachara where we have now collected samples from him and dispatched it to the NCDC for testing.

“He is now cooperating fully and all necessary information given, including the fact that while he actually recently returned from Lagos he did not visit Akwa Ibom State since his return though he resides in a border community to Akwa Ibom State. His real name is not Vincent Prosper and he actually made the call to the NCDC control room.

The state government had on Friday, through a Public Service Announcement, alerted Abians about the fleeing COVID-19 suspect.

Copyright PUNCH.