Abia State Government has said that there is no case of Coronavirus disease at the Du Gulf Hotel, Aba as reported by a section of the media, maintaining that Abia State is yet to record any incident of the virus.
The NewsCritic reports that there was panic at Aba over the weekend following a false report that a South African guest at the hotel has shown signs of the disease and was moved to the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, ABSUTH, for diagnosis.
Speaking to the NewsCritic in a telephone interview, the Abia State Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji, disclosed that there was no such case of Coronavirus at the hotel as reported, adding that he visited the hotel on Friday, 27th March, 2020 with an Epidemiologist and also interacted with the white man in question.
The South African by name Jaked Boyd is an engineer who has been resident in Nigeria and working at one Shopping Mall at Aba called Kilimanjaro, where he is installing air-conditioners and other electrical gadgets.
Dr Osuji further stated that what happened was that the white man suffered a bout of malaria after exposing himself to the cold as his medical diagnosis showed. He said the man was treated of malaria and he is hale and hearty.
Said the Commissioner, “upon reading the report, myself, the epidemiologist and other health officials swung into action. We went to the hotel. And on getting there, we discovered that it was case of malaria attack and not Coronavirus as suspected”, he said.
“We learnt that he developed some symptoms and decided to go to hospital. On getting to the first hospital, there was no doctor and so his driver took him to Abia State Teaching Hospital, ABSUTH, Aba and he rejected the place.
“The driver then drove him to another hospital where laboratory analysis showed that he had malaria. The man has been treated of malaria and now has a clean bill of health.
Addressing the press in Umuahia over the weekend on the issue, the management of Du Gulf Hotel, Aba told journalists that Jaked Boyd checked into the hotel on 20th February and has remained in the hotel since then without travelling anywhere.
Pastor Jonathan Ogwo, the Chief Security Officer, CSO, of the hotel who spoke on behalf of the management, said the hotel is pained by such false publication aimed at de-marketing the hotel and to scare away its esteemed customers.
Ogwo disclosed that the white man hardly goes out and that it is the responsibility of the hotel to drive him to his working place and bring him back as well.
He said that his international passport showed that he has a residential permit in Nigeria, stressing that there is no virus disease of any type with the hotel’s guest because they maintain high standard of hygiene.
The CSO further said that the author of the malicious report has equally tendered an unreserved apology to the hotel for circulating falsehood against the hotel. Also, the Head of Investigation, Nigeria Immigration Service in Abia State, Mr Kabiru Bello stressed that he went to the hotel on getting the information and discovered that the man is neither an illegal immigrant nor has the Coronavirus as the report claimed.