By Dan Ugwu.
In the couple of days running, there have been palpable fear in Imo State especially the Mbaise area, over a suspected case of COVID-19. In fact, offline media outlets, particularly Opera Mini has been reporting the death of Mr. Christogonus Aguwa Osuagwu as Nigeria’s second death case. The NCDC has even updated its dashboard to reflect the nation’s COVID-19 death count.
Unfortunately, neither the Ministry of Health, the Imo state government nor the NCDC has given the medical report of the late Aguwa. The agencies have also not issued his itinerary to ascertain those who should isolate immediately. The case has been left in the theater of social media who dissect the information as it pleases them.
While some allege the late Aguwa returned from Europe, others maintain he visited South Africa at the wake of this pandemic. The DSS had already isolated the FANCY hotel in Owerri where the suspect spent some time before his arrival in Abuja. The agency has also taken samples from some members of his family while awaiting result in few days.
Regrettably, Aguwa’s case has not been handled properly. We are yet to know if he died of COVID-19 or as a result of his serial health challenges that take him occasionally to South Africa. Media reports are accusing him of hiding away his infection, is that true? Where was he diagnosed and confirmed? Was he tested at all? Was he taken to the Gwagwalada isolation unit?
The NCDC should be able to come out strong and direct so as to douse the raging fear among the people. Aguwa was alleged to have passed out last Sunday in a location yet undisclosed. Even though Aguwa’s mortal remains have already been interred at Abuja; a circumstance that is unusual to the Mbaise people, if it is discovered in all reality that the man was never a carrier of this disease, then the FG, the Health Ministry and the NCDC will have a lot to contend with about a man who is crowned with honour and sense of industry in Mbaise and beyond.
We are now living in a society where all forms of ill health are loathed as evidence of the deadly pandemic. The NCDC is also saddled with the responsibility of harnessing this situation properly. Last week, I had gone to withdraw a little money in one of the ever-busy ATM machines. That I cleared my throat in a heavy manner sent all those on queue scampering for their safety that made me gently use the machine freely. This is how best Nigerians react to any threat to their lives. So, whatever that will intensify this fear ought not to be allowed.
In a situation of this nature, we feel deeply with the Aguwa family of Umuhuocha Obohia Mbaise. They will be challenged not only by the demise of their husband and brother, but they are also living with the stigma of yet to be proven disease. Rest in peace Mr Aguwa, CEO, Aguwa Aluminium Industry, Emekuku Owerri.
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Dan Ugwu and do not necessarily reflect those of The World Satellite. The World Satellite will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”