Wednesday, 18 March 2020 14:52

70-year-old woman who tested negative for coronavirus in Enugu dies,

daughter speaks,  health workers respond 


A 70 year old woman suspected to be infected with the Coronavirus in Enugu state and tested negative for the virus, has reportedly died.

Her unidentified daughter, took to twitter via the handle, @UcheNgwu7, to write an open letter to the government.


Read below;


“Dear RT. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi,

“I am writing on behalf of myself and family in regards to the 70 year old woman suspected of the Covid -19 in Enugu published on Saturday 14th March 2020.

“The patient who is my mother unfortunately passed away on Sunday 15th March 2020 having tested negative to the aforementioned virus. She returned to Nigeria on Wednesday 11th March, 2020 after 5 months trip to the UK to visit her children.”

“My mother was isolated in a dilapidated environment that seems to have been left uninhabitable over a long period of time. The isolation centre in Enugu is an abandoned old section of the hospital, where the grass and debris were being cleared whilst my mother was there”

“The staffs at the hospital were unprofessional in the way they handled my mother. She was stigmatized and this made her feel worthless. My mother arrived at the hospital on Friday 13th March, 2020, blood samples were collected on Saturday 14th March, 2020 with results expected on Monday 16th March, 2020.

“As declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that this is a global pandemic, one would expect a faster testing time. My mother had to spend 3 days in a dire situation, without adequate health care and unsure of what is happening around her.

“If the result for Covid-19 was ascertained on time, my mother would still be here with us, as she would have been moved to a better equipped hospital with the right experts to deal with her underlying illnesses”.

“My mother died due to the negligence and unpreparedness of the state in putting adequate facilities including staff training in place. The corona virus was detected in December 2019. It is absolutely disappointing that there is no appropriate isolation centre in Enugu State.

“After the death of my mother, finding a workable stretcher to move her body was impossible! You would expect any hospital to provide basic facilities such as a stretcher – my mother’s body was carried into the ambulance on a wretched tool.

“Considering that the Covid-19 result proved negative, we can conclude that my mother died due to the following reasons –

· The state of the said ‘isolation centre’ ( pictures attached).

· Wrong treatment

· Staff stigmatisation due to lack of training in dealing with such cases.

“Furthermore, shortly after the news of a suspected Covid-19 patient was published, the Enugu state government responded by releasing 20 Million Naira for the management of the state isolation centre.

“In my opinion, that is a little too late as strategies for dealing with the Corona Virus pandemic should have been put in place before now. It should not have taken my mother’s suspected case to prompt an action from the government”.

The government should have anticipated this and appropriate measures and facilities put in place.

“As l write this, l am sure that no plans has been made for any future case of Covid-19 despite the promised allocated funds”.

“In conclusion, l would like to reiterate that the environment of the isolation centre, staff behaviour and the unpreparedness of the Enugu state government resulted to my mother’s unexpected death”.

“The objective of this letter is to make sure that no other person will have to go through what my mother went through. I am appealing to the governor of Enugu state to ensure that the funds allocated to the isolation centre is rightly used for the purpose for which it was meant.

“I urge the Enugu state government to ensure accountability to this respect.


A very heartbroken daughter.


health workers respond 

The letter was addressed to Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the governor.

A group called “Concerned Health Workers in Enugu State” has, however, countered her claims, maintaining that the woman was well attended to and that the isolation centre was in good condition.

Here is the counter letter;


With utter dismay, our attention has been drawn to the mischievous allegation of negligence trending on social media, being peddled by the purported daughter of the 70-year-old woman who was suspected to have been infected with Corona Virus – COVID-19 in Enugu, but tested NEGATIVE after a confirmed investigation at IRUA Specialist Hospital, Edo State.

As health workers in Enugu, we state that we have basic knowledge of what transpired as well as the high level commitment of the medical doctors and other personnel who worked tirelessly to manage the woman, that was first REJECTED by all federal medical institutions in Enugu, before she was accepted by the ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu.

On this note, we commend the Enugu State Government for not joining issues with the so-called daughter of the woman who deliberately did not write her name, in her immoral, insensitive and baseless vituperations against the state and integrity of our medical profession (if truly she was the one that wrote the mischievous letter to the governor, trending on social media).

Photo of ESUTH isolation centre posted by “Concerned Health Workers in Enugu State”

It is disheartening that when we expected her and other family members of the woman, to show gratitude to the state government and the medical personnel for accepting to treat their rejected mother, under such intense panic and anxiety over the suspected spread of the deadly COVID-19 in the state, it was not forthcoming.

We also feel bad to note that the so-called daughter of the woman, who admitted her mother had multiple ailments, mischievously alleged that her “mother died due to the negligence and unpreparedness of the state in putting adequate facilities, including staff training in place”. We therefore state categorically that this allegation is false, mischievous and a clear case of ingratitude.

Nothing can be farther from the truth…

Because of these acts of mischief and ingratitude aimed at undermining the efforts our colleagues, other medical personnel and the state government, made to save her mother, we wish to call the attention of the public to the following facts that must have been largely responsible for the death of the patient…

We learnt that the 70-year old woman was promptly received and interviewed by doctors without any form of stigmatization from them or other health workers.

She was having problem of cough and fever. Being a returnee from Europe qualified her to be a suspected case of COVID-19, which incidentally was NEGATIVE after the investigative result came out.

Also, it was said that she had hypertension, sugar issues and kidney disease which were poorly managed before her admission at the isolation centre. Her personal doctor, a specialist at the ESUTH Parklane, was also contacted and later went to the Isolation Centre with two other specialists to see this woman.

Some important tests were done which showed the woman’s blood level was very low, hence needing transfusion.


These doctors and laboratory workers even collected sample from the throat of the woman for the main Corona virus test, hence there was

NO STIGMATISATION as the writer claimed.

We all should remember that the NCDC said the result will be out by Monday, but the result came out on Sunday evening. Hence there was NO DELAY in laboratory test. This result was said to be negative for corona virus. It was also noted that the woman was said not to have complained of neglect as the whole health-care workers were with her until the time of her death.

Where was the daughter all this while the mother was sick and being managed. It will be candid of us to know that where the woman was managed was clean and not the picture that is circulating as seen above.

May her soul rest in peace. Signed:

Chinwe Udeh

Agatha Nnamani

Nkem Eze

Emeka Anene

Peter Udemezue

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