COVID-19: Benue index case threatens to sue NCDC after 53 days in isolation

The Benue COVID-19 index case, Susan Idoko-Okpe, has threatened to sue the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control if she is not released from the isolation facility in Abuja within the next seven days.

Mrs Idoko says she been in isolation for 53 days without exhibiting any symptoms, insisting she does not have the virus.

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On the 27th of March, the Benue State governor announced that a returnee from the United Kingdom had tested positive to coronavirus, becoming the state’s index case.

Susan Idoko-Okpe, who reportedly arrived Nigeria on 22nd of March, denied this in a video claiming she was wrongly detained by the state government.

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Her case became an issue of major interest when her video went viral.

On the 14th of April, the Federal ministry of health, reacted to the allegations.

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It explained that the case was being handled by the Benue State Ministry of Health officials, where she had tested positive.

The Federal Ministry of Health promised that the NCDC would investigate her allegations which included flawed processes, mistaken identity, denial of access to previous test results, and error in her age.

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But it is unclear if those allegations have been probed.

On 2nd of April, Susan Idoko-Okpe was transferred to the National Hospital, Abuja from Makurdi after her initial tests.

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While at the National Hospital, she demanded the test result previously conducted in Benue.

Her request was granted on 8th April but she noticed several errors such as the age, name, arrival date among others.

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Her refusal to take medications given to her and continued positive status, no doubt led to her continued stay at the isolation centre.

The authorities maintain that she cannot be released , for fear that she will further spread the virus.

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The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire said Susan Idoko-okpe had refused to let the NCDC and other medical personnel take her samples so they can do a final test on her before she is discharged.

But her lawyer, Mr. Steven Eke says his client has lost confidence in the NCDC.

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He said Susan Idoko-Okpe demands an independent test to be conducted by the World Health Organization under the supervision of the British High Commission and her personal physician.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health., Osagie Ehanire, at the daily press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on 14th May said he had persuaded Susan Idoko-okpe to consent to being tested.

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Her sample has been taken and the result will be out in a couple of days.

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