Intensive fear has enveloped scores of residents of Abuja, as a former Managing Director of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Suleiman Achimugu, has reportedly become the first to die of the dreaded Coronavirus in Nigeria.
The former PPMC chief, who reportedly died over night from the virus in Abuja , was said to have returned from the United Kingdom two weeks ago.
According to family sources, he started exhibiting symptoms on Tuesday even as his family reported his condition to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The family said officials of the NCDC came to the house and took his blood specimen but they never got back to them.
The family said further that as of Sunday afternoon, he was coughing profusely, so they called the NCDC to inquire about his results, which turned out positive. They (NCDC) picked him up and rushed him to Gwagwalada and he reportedly died at 2 am Monday morning. His family is currently under quarantine in their house as the NCDC reportedly handled the burial.
The late former MD according to sources had mixed up with so many people on his return from the UK. He was said to have attended several meetings, met with so many friends, visited pubs and supermarkets and many others who might have been infected.
Just as the FCT residents were grappling with the first death of a high-profile personality from the virus, it has spread so fast, sparing no one. Another high-profile confirmed case of the disease is the son of former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar, Mohammed, who tested positive to the virus, bringing the number of confirmed cases to over 35 in the last two days.
The Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) disclosed that his son’s status via his verified Twitter handle late Sunday evening.
“My son has tested positive to coronavirus. The @NCDCGov (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) has been duly informed, and he has been moved to Gwagwalada Specialist Teaching Hospital in Abuja for treatment and management. I will appreciate it if you have him in your prayers. Stay safe, coronavirus is real,” he wrote on Twitter.
Atiku’s daughter, who also confirmed the incident said in a video that it “is now a public knowledge that my brother, Mohammed Atiku Abubakar has contracted the coronavirus and is being treated here in Abuja.
“We as a family are very sad and hopeful that he will get well very soon. We are thankful for the quick intervention of the NCDC, and for now this is what we as a family have to say.
“We will ask that all malicious and insulting messages being sent around to insinuate a deliberate action by my brother to spread this disease knowingly be stopped immediately. We must come together as a people to fight this virus.
“I would like to draw people’s attention to good hygiene and social distancing; it is important and vital that we apply these in our lives more than ever,” she said.
According to sources, the estate where the former Vice President’s son lives has been quarantined on Monday as fears have spread that the victim may have come in contacts with hundreds of other people, who may have contracted the virus.
These two incidents and others breaking out have heightened anxiety and tension in the FCT as residents bemoan their fate in the wake of the deadly virus that has killed over 13,000 people globally with over 300,000 confirmed cases worldwide.
There is additional panic that erupted in the FCT when some members of the House of Representatives were said to have returned from some of the high risk countries and allegedly refused to subject themselves to screening at the Airport.
Following this development, the Presidency on Monday raised the alarm over the refusal of the lawmakers to do the screening which is one of the precautionary measures against the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic.
Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, in a letter to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, sighted by journalists, asked the House leadership to direct Members to comply with the safety measures at the Airport, Business Day reports.