By JACOB KUBEKA, Abuja
With confirmed cases of the rampaging coronavirus reported to have risen to 36 in Nigeria, a former Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing company (PPMC), Suleiman Achimugu died over night from the strange disease also known as COVID-19, becoming the first casualty in the country.
He was said to have got back from United Kingdom two weeks ago and started exhibiting symptoms on Tuesday.
His family was said to have reported to the development to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), whose officials came to the house and took his blood specimen.
They never got back to the family.
“As of yesterday afternoon, he was coughing profusely. So they called the NCDC to inquire about his results. It turned out positive,” a source close to the family revealed.
Achimugu was said to have been picked him up and rushed him to Specialist Hospital in Gwagwalada, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), but died at 2am this morning.
His family members are currently under quarantine in their house, it was learnt.
Confirming the development, the NCDC tweeted on Monday: “The 1st #COVID19 death in Nigeria has been recorded. The case was a 67- year old male who returned home following medical treatment in UK.”
According to the agency, “He had underlying medical conditions- multiple myeloma & diabetes and was undergoing chemotherapy.”
One of Nigeria’s leading national dailies, The Guardian, also said it received a press statement from the family which said, “he died of COVID 19 on 22/03/2020 some days after he arrived Nigeria from the UK.”
“He was in self-isolation upon his return from the UK and personally called NCDC after experiencing some discomfort that are related to COVID 19 symptoms,” it quoted the family spokesman Abubakar Achimugu, to have said in the statement.
“He tested positive and was promptly evacuated to the specialist hospital. He died while receiving treatment,” the statement added.