Suspected COVID-19: Panic as humanitarian worker dies in Borno


By Bode Olushegun

Humanitarian worker with Medecins Sans Frontieres, Babangida Buba, has allegedly died from COVID-19 disease at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH).

The deceased was an anesthetic nurse with Medecins Sans Frontieres otherwise called Doctors without Borders and worked with the organisation in Pulka,

He was rushed to Maiduguri from Pulka in the course of last week when his health condition degenerated.

Some of his colleagues had posted on social media that: “The first COVID-19 death has been recorded in UMTH, Borno State.

“The deceased was admitted in Medical Ward III last week and died under suspicious circumstances which led to a test being conducted on the corpse and the result came back positive for COVID-19.

“The bad thing is that he had contact with several health workers both within and outside UMTH.

“He was brought from Pulka to UMTH by two nurses which are also now at risk together with their families.

“Last night (Saturday), after his demise, female friends, relatives and other mourners gathered in his house to visit his family members who can be classified as direct contact to the deceased.

“And the worst of all is that he was staying in USUMH staff quarters which are within the hospital premises, thereby exposing more health workers and patients as well.”

Meanwhile the Borno Deputy Governor and Chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19, Alhaji Usman Kadafur has called on the people not to be panic, insisting that the case is under control.

He disclosed that sample had been taken from the deceased and sent for test.

He said: “The sample has been taken and the result has been communicated to the National Centre for Diseases Control who are mandated to make a statement on that.

“But as a committee we are working and reviewing things in the town so for now, I assure you that if there is anything from the outcome of the NCDC, we will make it public.”

He added that: “Unconfirmed report of death from Pulka, I have to caution our press when it come to COVID-19. You are supposed to run a test and there is a lot of processes involve.

“So if you are not a member of that team, you cannot preempt a result without official confirmation.

“What we are saying now is that we have a patient who had passed away and that patient is tested but the result are sent to NCDC that they can send us an official confirmation.

“As you can see as a committee now, we have evaluated a lot of things, we have started putting our house together in the events of any outbreak.

“We have been putting a lot of preventable measures, we have not relented.”

He added that there is: “COVID-19 Complaints, there has been locked down. There was no restriction in the metropolis.

“If there is a need to do so, we will do that but for now, we only have the Interstate lock down into the state.

“Our people are call upon to adhere strictly to rules especially the social distancing advice, safe hygiene.”

He said the testing had to pass through processes and at least three days is needed to run the test and “we cannot preempt the result without official confirmation.”


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