The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), personnel who apprehended a fleeing COVID-19 patient at the Kaduna isolation centre maybe stigmatized, Daily Trust gathered from senior NSCDC officers.
The NSCDC had in a statement issued by the Media Assistant to the Commandant General, Ekunola Gbenga on Thursday stated that the male patient had tried to leave the isolation centre for morning prayers without the permission of doctors.
The statement noted that his action led to a confrontation between “our personnel and the patient, who forcefully picked the keys of the gate of the centre and tried to open the gate to escape, thereby exposing the officer to the virus.”
It stated that Joshua Philip, a Corps Assistant, at the IDCC who “captured” the patient was given some drugs, and has been instructed to self-isolate for two weeks and call the centre if he develops any symptoms.
However, investigations by Daily Trust revealed that the incident occurred over a month ago, not within the week as insinuated by the statement from NSCDC headquarters.
It was gathered that officers at the state command of the NCDC were furious that the name of their colleague was mentioned in the media exposing him to stigma.
A senior officer at the Kaduna State command wondered why the headquarters had issued a “misleading statement” on an incident that occurred over a month ago stressing that the suspect who tried to flee was not the index case in Kaduna as the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai was the index case.
Although he confirmed that a COVID-19 suspected patient who tried to leave the centre was apprehended by the officer on duty, he said the statement had distorted vital facts and placed an officer in danger.
“The incubation period for COVID-19 based on professional advice is 14 days and the said officer has completed this period but the statement from the headquarters will put him in danger of those who may know him and think he’s violating the incubation period,” he said.
Another Senior officer said the then patient had been a suspected case and was not confirmed to be positive of COVID-19 at the time the incident occurred adding, “If the patient had been positive then he would have been the index case but we all know that the index case in Kaduna is the State Governor who was confirmed positive about three weeks ago.”