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Gombe Taskforce explains root cause of covid-19 protests, lists new challenges

Covid-19 patients protest in Gombe (Pictures)

The Gombe State COVID-19 Task Force on Thursday, said the state government was tracing residents who mixed with COVID-19 patients who were protesting at the Kwandon Isolation Centre in Yemaltu Deba Local Government Area of the state.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the task force, Professor Idris Mohammed, while speaking on Channels Television on Thursday morning.

While making attempts to explain what led to the protest, Prof Mohammed state’s that the demonstrations have also created a new challenge for the state.

It would be recalled that the patients had broke out from their isolation center and barricaded the expressway linking Gombe and Borno state over claims that they were being treated poorly in their Isolation center.

Mohammed also denied the allegation levelled against the government by the protesting COVID-19 patients.

According to him, the state government spends over N1 million on drugs for the patients every two weeks and also provide them with food.

He said: “What I can tell you is that the entire episode was unfortunate and uncalled for. If you go into the root cause of the problem, you will see that it started from a very minor incident that escalated because there was some underlying distortions in the minds of people.

“The real problem that occured is about an old lady, a 92-year-old lady who was admitted in the Isolation center with a boil that was producing pus.

“She was admitted with her 24 year old grand daughter that came to the hospital and was saying what she had was infact cancer which could not be treated medically through Western medical tradition, and that she needed to get her home for traditional care which we did not approve of, because we were not sure that when she goes to her base, she will not expose people to COVID19 of which she is positive.

“That issue developed overnight and there were allegations by some of the Isolated people that the lady would’t allow them to sleep overnight because she was shouting throughout the night and they got agitated. In the morning, they alleged they were not being fed and not given treatment, all of which is false.

“These people are given the best food available. For example, in the initial stages, we engage the services of a restaurant to supply food for every patient at the rate of N150 per plate.

Read also: 10 staff of Lagos State House, Marina, test positive for coronavirus

“Secondly they said they were not given medicine and I know that we buy drugs for common illnesses like Malaria, Diarrhea, to the tune of N1.3 million every two weeks for the Isolation center. So it is not true for them to say that they have to go out to buy things like Paracetamol.

“In any event, we are not likely to allow anybody to self-medicate in Isolation.”

Professor Mohammed however said the major challenge before his team at the moment was tracing residents of the area who came in contact with the protesting COVID-19 patients.

”This is a major source of concern for the taskforce because now we have started contract tracing of all the people in Kadaun who mixed with the COVID19 positive patients because it has now increased the liability on us and the necessity for us to identify all those who mixed with the COVID19 positive patients” he said

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