The management of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin, Kwara State, has suspended a senior consultant, Prof. Alakija Salami, for allegedly concealing the travel history of a suspected coronavirus patient, Alhaji Muideen Obanimomo, who died in the hospital on April 3.
The hospital has also constituted a committee to investigate the allegations against Salami, who is an expert in respiratory medicine and HIV medicine, with research interest in infectious and non-infectious pulmonary diseases and core interest in tuberculosis, obstructive airways diseases and HIV/AIDS.
Memo by hospital management on the constitution of an investigative committee to probe Prof. Salami.
The patient, who recently returned to Nigeria from the United Kingdom, fell ill shortly afterwards and died while on admission at the Accident and Emergency unit of the hospital.
NewsmakersNG learnt that despite showing strong coronavirus symptoms prior to his demise, the patient’s corpse was hurriedly released to his wife for burial in his Offa hometown without ascertaining the cause of his death.
Following pressures from various quarters, the deceased’s wife was eventually tested and found to have been infected with coronavirus.
She is one of the two coronavirus cases confirmed by the Kwara State government yesterday.
Several healthcare workers who had contact with the deceased while on admission are said to be isolation, while tracing of all those who had contact with corpse as well as the wife during the burial has also begun.
A statement by UITH’s management late yesterday reads, “The management of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital hereby suspends Prof A.K. Salami as a senior consultant in the hospital.
“This is as a result of his unethical conduct in the admission, management and eventual release of the corpse of a suspected COVID-19 patient who died in the hospital on the 3rd of April, 2020.”
Meanwhile, some Nigerians have launched an online campaign under the hashtag, ArrestProfSalami, through which they are calling for the arrest and prosecution of the professor for deliberately endangering the lives of others.