Ex-MD PPMC dies of coronavirus, becoming Nigeria’s first casualty

A 67-year-old patient, Suleiman Achimugu, has died of coronavirus, making the first death case in Nigeria, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed.

NCDC gave the confirmation in its update on the virus on its Twitter hand the death on Monday.

It said that the deceased had underlying medical issues and was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

Earlier, Nigeria recorded five new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 36.

Out of the 36 cases, 33 are active while two patients have recovered and discharged.

According to the NCDC, the virus has spread to six states — FCT, with seven cases; Lagos, 24 cases; Oyo, one case; Ogun, two cases; Ekiti, one case and Edo, one case.

Late Achimugu, who was a former Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), died at 2.00 a.m. on Monday.

The deceased, a native of Kogi State, was said to have returned from the United Kingdom two weeks ago.

He was said to have started exhibiting the symptoms of the virus on Tuesday and the case was reported to the NCDC, who took his blood sample for a test.

He tested positive and was evacuated to the Specialist Hospital, Gwagwalada in Abuja but died while receiving treatment.

According to a source, his family members are reportedly under quarantine at their home at the moment.

Meanwhile, a statement from the family, issued by Abubakar Achimugu, said the deceased had been buried according to Islamic rites.

“Our family is deeply saddened to inform you of the sudden death of our beloved father, uncle, brother and friend, Engr. Suleiman Achimugu (former MD of PPMC),” the statement read.

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“He died of COVID-19 on March 22, 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 discomforts that are related to COVID-19 symptoms.

“He tested positive and was promptly evacuated to the specialist hospital. He died while receiving treatment.

“We implore the general public to pray upon his soul and the recovery of infected persons.

“Your thoughts and prayers would be appreciated.

“Please maintain the public social distancing and restriction advice as we all walk through this very difficult time.

“He has since been buried according to Islamic rites. May Allah (SWA) have mercy on him,” the statement read in part.


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