News House of Reps order release of Benue coronavirus index...

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House of Reps order release of Benue coronavirus index case

News House of Reps order release of Benue coronavirus index case

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila on the floor, moving a bill on the Repeal of Quarantine Act, 2004 at plenary yesterday at National Assembly Abuja. . Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan. 1

The House of Representatives has resolved to come to the rescue of Benue State’s coronavirus index case, Susan Idoko, who has accused the government of refusing to release her from isolation despite “not” being infected with the disease.

The action of the House followed the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by a member, Blessing Onuh, at plenary on Tuesday. It was entitled, ‘Urgent Need to Look into the Release of Mrs Susan Idoko Okpe, Nee Lawani, Who was Quarantined by the Government Following Misinformation and Diagnosis.’

Adopting the motion, the House resolved to “mandate the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, through the Federal Ministry of Health, to critically evaluate her as a matter of urgency and if proved otherwise, should be allowed to go home.”

The parliament also tasked the ministry and NCDC with carrying out quality contact tracing and encourage persons who are symptomatic to go for proper clinical evaluation and management, with prompt release when they return to their premorbid state.

The House also discouraged stigmatisation, inhumane treatment, and violation of human rights.

Moving the motion, Onuh said, “The House notes that one Mrs Susan Idoko-Okpe, nee Lawani, a 56-year-old woman who is an indigene of Benue State with a dual citizenship from the United Kingdom, flew into the country for her mother‘s funeral on the 22nd of March this year. Unfortunately, she got quarantined by the government for the COVID-19 virus, an assertion backed up by discrepancies in the laboratory results.

“The House is aware that Idoko-Okpe had a long flight following her departure from the United Kingdom and must have had jet-lag, a common occurrence which necessitated her presentation to the Cottage Hospital where she was primarily managed.

“The House is disturbed that the details of this ldoko-Okpe is not consistent with that of the lady who was referred from Benue State Teaching Hospital Makurdi to Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, Abuja.”

The lawmaker added that the personal information on the laboratory result from the NCDC did not also tally with her personal details.

She further said, “The House is concerned that Idoko-Okpe, who is bereaved, is beginning to deteriorate psychologically and already having suicidal thoughts. This is worsened by the fact that she has been in isolation for about 50 days without any form of treatment. It is imperative to stress further that the test result given to her was questionable as it didn‘t carry her information’s correctly – definitely not hers.

“The House is disturbed that the details of this ldoko-Okpe is not consistent with that of the lady who was referred from Benue State Teaching Hospital Makurdi to Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, Abuja.”

According to Onuh, the lady has also been forced to take treatment for COVID-19 even in her asymptomatic state.

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