By Victor Akuma
The Abia State government says it has apprehended Vincent Prosper who allegedly ran away after being suspected to have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
The state commissioner for information, John Okiyi Kalu, who disclosed this in a statement said: “Abia State COVID-19 medical Rapid Response (RR) Team received information from NCDC national control room on a suspected COVID-19 patient named Vincent Prosper who called them from Abia State to report among other things that he was manifesting symptoms of the virus and recently had contacts with a confirmed patient in neighboring Akwa Ibom state in addition to recently returning from Lagos.”
“Our team immediately swung into action and called the number forwarded, took notes and asked the individual to isolate himself pending our arrival to take samples for testing. On arrival at the given location, he disappeared and was later to confess that he saw the ambulance and the fully kitted RR-team, lost courage, detested the possibility of being locked down and decided to switch off his phone and disappear into thin air.”
“We continued to look for him quietly and at some point got him again on the phone and he gave us a wrong address at Azikiwe Road and a team was immediately dispatched to the location but did not find him there,” he said.
The statement continued, “At that point, we decided to enlist the services of a top security agency in the state to find him and also alerted members of the public yesterday regarding the situation in the hope that he would voluntarily come forward. He never did! But late last night, the security agency pinned his location down and this morning our RR-team stormed the location with security agents and took him into custody at our isolation facility at Amachara.
The commissioner said the state’s ministry of health has collected samples of his blood and sent to the NCDC for test.
“We have now collected samples from him and dispatched to NCDC for testing,” he added.
The commissioner also stated that the young man is now cooperating and that Vincent is not his real name.
“He is now fully cooperating and all necessary information given, including the fact that while he actually recently returned from Lagos he didn’t visit Akwa Ibom state since his return though he resides in a border community to Akwa Ibom State. His real name is also not Vincent Prosper and he actually made the call to NCDC Control room.”
Okiyi went on to advise Abians that contracting coronavirus is not a death sentence and no one should stigmatise people with it.
“It is important to inform our people that COVID-19 is not a death sentence and nobody should be stigmatized because of it,” he said.