HEALTH workers at the Mainland Hospital in Lagos survived a major scare yesterday after the Italian patient sent there after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus attempted to leave in protest at the poor state of the available facilities.
Yesterday, it was confirmed that an Italian man who recently arrived on a flight to Lagos was infected with the virus. Apparently, the 44-year old man who is a Italian, is a consultant working with cement giant Larfarge Africa, which has a plant at Ewekoro in Ogun State and he visited the facility upon his arrival, leading to it being shut down.
On Tuesday, the Italian was said to have arrived on a flight from Italy and visited both the Ewekoro factory and the offices of Agip Saipem in Banana Island in Lagos. After the visits, he developed a fever and was treated at the Lafarge facility clinic before he was rushed to Lagos on Wednesday when his case grew worse.
In Lagos, he was quarantined at the Mainland Hospital in Yaba, formerly known as the Infectious Diseases Hospital. Irked by the poor state of the facilities there, the Italian gentlemen got angry and attempted to escape, lamenting the fact that the authorities have not matched their words with action.
Yesterday, the Lagos State deputy governor Obafemi Hamzat, said that the state government had built a facility to handle the situation, adding that the patient was getting better. However, according to health worker at the hospital, the Italian was very upset about the surroundings and had complained of excessive heat and mosquitoes.
Mr Hamzat had said: “It is a lab that can accommodate 100 for now but it is only one bed that is occupied today and hopefully, it wouldn’t spread. We are ready and we are well equipped. He is there and he is getting better and the doctors say he is going to be fine.’’
However, the health worker said: “The patient wanted to run away yesterday. The Italian man, who seems to be an engineer, was very angry that the room where he was kept was very hot.
“There is nothing there aside from bed and hospital locker. He almost ran away and is still threatening to do that.”
He added that the level of preparedness in Lagos State for infectious diseases such as coronavirus and Lassa fever is zero. Mainland Hospital, Yaba, is an ultra-modern multi-drug resistant tuberculosis treatment centre, with a 40-bed admission facility.
However, health workers allege that Lagos State did not have the facility to accommodate individuals who might have come in contact with the Italian. One other source added that the Mainland Hospital does not have a ready and designated facility to isolate and treat Lassa fever patients, much less coronavirus.