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We were not given a single drug, they only gave us food everyday- Discharged COVID-19 patients in Niger state claim

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COVID-19 patients being discharged from the Minna Isolation centre, has disclosed that they were not adequately treated and tested to prove if they were negative, before they were discharged.

Just as they decried the inhuman and shabby treatment meted to them during their stay at the isolation centre and upon their discharge.

The patients, who spoke to reporters in Minna, said the isolation centre where they were kept was overcrowded and some of them had to sleep on the floor due to insufficient beddings.

The state Taskforce on COVID-19 however claimed that the isolation centre is adequate to accommodate a large number of patients.

The government had disclosed that it had 95 people in its isolation centres across the state, including seven Almajirais who were brought from Kaduna State.

It would be recalled that two weeks ago, some of the patients in the isolation centre posted a video online which went viral, accusing the government of maltreating them in the isolation and quarantine centres as they complained of lack of food, electricity and attention.

In its response, the Commissioner of Health, Dr Muhammad Maikusidi said the video was fake and meant to tarnish the good works of the government.

However, yesterday, some of the patients who spoke to reporters after they were discharged claimed that the isolation centre is overcrowded and some of them were made to sleep on the floor.

They revealed that all through their stay at the isolation centre, not even a paracetamol drug was administered on them.

The patients stated that despite being tested positive of COVID-19, they were not re-tested but were only told that they are negative and can return home.

One of the discharged patients who was picked up from Zumba in Shiroro local government said that he was tested positive and quarantined at the isolation centre and that he was expecting to be treated and given drugs throughout his stay at the isolation centre but none was administered to him.

“I expected that I will undergo some treatment, but apart from food, nothing was given to me in the form of treatment. They did not give me a single drug.

“They only give us food every day that is all. No single drug, not even paracetamol was given to me throughout the 14 days”, he said.

He further disclosed that his mother and other relations who were also picked up and quarantined with him were also treated shabbily.

He stated that after their discharge, they were not provided with transportation and were told to find their way adding that money for transportation was not given to them.

“They just came and asked us to go. They did not tell us how we would move neither did they consider that we may not have any money to transport us home.

“We trekked from the isolation centre at the back of the police secondary school to the main road. From there, we trekked to Dutsen Kuran Gwari before someone assisted us to Sabon Gari junction.

“It was at Sabon Gari that a commercial vehicle carried us to Zumba before we now borrowed money from our people to pay the driver”.

When The Nation tried to contact the state TaskForce Chairman on COVID-19 and the Secretary to the State government, Alhaji Ahmed Matene and the Commissioner of Health, none of them picked their calls or answered a text message sent to them.

As at the time of filing this report, none of the members of the state task force on COVID-19 had replied to their calls or messages.

Niger state currently has 26 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 18 patients currently on admission while five have been discharged and one deceased, the others are currently unaccounted for as the state government claimed they have absconded and are at large.

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ASUU might end strike as FG shifts position on meeting demands.

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The federal government has agreed to provide an additional sum of N15 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

This means a cumulative sum of N65 billion has been provided for the settlement of the lecturers’ allowances and the revitalization of the university system. During a 7-hour meeting on Friday, November 20, it was also agreed that ASUU will be exempted from the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS) which has been generating hiccups against the end of the strike action. Legit.ng notes that this is coming weeks after the federal government insisted that the lecturers’ body could not determine how it should be paid to its employers. Reading the communique at the end of negotiations, minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige disclosed that the federal government shifted ground on some demands of ASUU.


The minister also stated that the salary arrears of the body’s members from February to June 2020 will be paid using the old salary payment platform, GIFIMS.

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