Why we discharged Benue index case – National hospital

Written by on May 22, 2020

The National Hospital Abuja has given reasons for discharging a 58-year-old Nigerian-British, Susan Idoko-Okpe, who was the index case of corona-virus in Benue State.

The NHA said no COVID-19 patient is currently being detained in the hospital.

Deputy Director and Head of Information and Protocol for the hospital, Mr Tayo Haastrup, said this in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

Haastrup said more than 35 patients were admitted at various times and 27 of them had been discharged successfully.

According to him, the only patient, who refused treatment, stayed beyond 45 days remained asymptomatic.

Though Haastrup made mention of no name, Idoko-Okpe had claimed that she was released despite testing positive for corona-virus.

“All our patients were discharged within three weeks of admission, following treatment with their full cooperation and in line with the National Center for Disease Control protocol on case management.

“We want to make it clear to the public that no patient is being detained in the hospital,’’ the national hospital spokesperson said.

Haastrup said with the review of protocol for isolation with the Ministry of Health and NCDC, it was agreed that patients, who remained asymptomatic beyond 45 days, could be allowed to go home on self-isolation.

He said with such a review, “a repeat test could be done after five to 10 days, to confirm if the patient has become negative”.

He said the hospital would continue to support the government in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Haastrup also advised the public to abide by the laid down rules and guidelines by the National Committee on COVID-19 to avoid further spread of the infection in the community.

Idoko-Okpe, who arrived in Nigeria from the United Kingdom on March 22, had protested that a positive COVID-19 test result, which led to her being taken to the Benue State Isolation Center in Makurdi on March 27 and subsequently to the National Hospital in Abuja, did not belong to her.

In the recorded video in circulation, Idoko-Okpe revealed that the last test result given to her showed that she is still positive for corona-virus.

She, however, said the health officials asked her to go, having met with the requirement of the World Health Organisation.

She added, “They (nurses) said I was still positive. I said, ‘Okay, give it (the result) to me.’ I wanted to leave, so I called the CMD. I put the CMD on the line with the nurses. The CMD said, ‘Yes, you have satisfied the WHO (guidelines). You have never been a prisoner. You are free to go home.’

“I said, ‘Thank you very much sir.’ He said, ‘Even though you are sick, you were asymptotic.’ I said, ‘Sir, point of correction, I don’t have any symptoms.’ He said, ‘Yes, I’m just using medical terms.’ I asked, ‘Can I go?’

“I put him on speaker and said, ‘Sir, by the way, you are on speaker.’ The nurses there were listening. So, I packed my things, my friend came and I left in her car. I’m in her house right now.”

Idoko-Okpe, however, refused to disclose her location to anyone, saying she was happy to be alive.

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