Two patients who tested positive for coronavirus in Borno state have fled.
The information was released by Salisu Kwayabura, the commissioner for health.
Kwayabura said the patients – Abbas Kaka Hassan, a 24-year-old male, and Hauwa Mohammed, 42-year-old female – fled the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital after their results came positive.
He said while Hassan resides at Layin Tanki in Gwange 11 area of the state capital, the woman resides in Shuwari ward, still in Maiduguri.
The commissioner said Hassan who was in contact with the COVID-19 response team via telephone after his sample was collected, switched off his phone when he learnt he tested positive.
He also said a phone number through which the patient’s mother was in touch with the team, has also been switched off.
“When samples of patients with contacts to index cases are collected, they are normally advised to go on self-isolation. They give their contacts so they can be reached when results are out,” he said.
“This is the standard medical procedure. You cant detain someone with suspected contact. We do not have the lawful powers to do that. Other patients were also allowed to leave but they came into isolation centres and we have 19 of them in two isolation centres. However, the young man in question, chose to go into hiding.”
He said a “diligent surveillance and investigation” team is working very hard to track the patients.
Allaying the fears of Borno residents over COVID-19, Kwayabura said the disease is not a death sentence a majority of those who testedositive have recovered from the disease.