As the second wave of COVID-19 continues to rage in the country, Zeenat, wife of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, has tested positive for the virus, fuelling fears of mass infection at the Kaduna Correctional Centre, where the couple are currently being held in custody.
Their son, Mohammed, disclosed this in a statement he personally signed and sent to Our Correspondent on Thursday.
He, however, lamented that his mother was yet to be either isolated, hospitalized or given proper care in the detention facility.
Mohammed said: “Six days ago after a routine visit to the Kaduna State prison by my parent’s doctors, my mother complained of fatigue, fever and a complete loss of the ability to smell.
“The doctors decided to carry out a number of standard tests in order to understand what the problem was. Among the tests that were carried out was a test for the novel coronavirus.
“This was a routine procedure and it is important to state that she has been denied treatment for acute medical conditions including severe arthritis of the knee for years now.
“Meanwhile, the COVID-19 test came back positive. I imagined that due to the diligent way in which the prison management had been conducting and managing the facility, a COVID-19 outbreak would be extremely unlikely.
“Because we have also been doing our own due diligence and taking all possible measures at all times, we imagined that they were safe from the clear and present danger of COVID-19.
“But once I heard of the test result, my first action was to ensure that it was tried, tested and confirmed. I expected that following our risky entrance into the predictable petri dish of Kaduna State prison for what it is; the person in charge of Kaduna State prison would officially do his job and inform the State Governor Nasir El-Rufai and the chain of command that the current campaign of torture, extortion, corruption and murder has come to this and my mother Zeenah Ibraheem El-Zakzaky needs to be immediately hospitalized.
“Unfortunately, this has not been done and so I have no choice but to scream the following details to the public.
“NOTE: This most horrific news was delivered to the deputy controller of prisons (DC) and his most immediate superior (CP). He granted unrestricted access for all medical staff to deliver primary care to my mother, Zeenah Ibraheem.
“But on the first day after she tested positive, the medical team that came to grant her attention was harassed in their efforts to deliver immediate primary care.
“On day two, apparently an order came down on the controller of prisons (CP) to test again. And so we did, because apparently they wanted to double check the veracity of medical results that were from the same labs following the same protocols.
“On day three, my mother Zeenah Ibraheem was yet to be hospitalized. Instead, there seemed to be a commotion of people bent on using the COVID-19 virus as an assassination tool.
“I want to ask; why is my mother not in a hospital? Why are you doing this? We all know that COVID-19 requires an immediate response of urgent adherence to medical advice. Why are the rules being bent against my mother, Zeenah Ibraheem, and my father, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky?
“On day four, the idea of following appropriate treatment protocols as required for every patient was ignored.
“On day five, at the 11th hour, I am completely helpless and powerless to do anything to save my mother who is currently down with COVID-19.
“Today is day six since I heard about her COVID-19 status. This is the Nigeria in which I was born, in which I live, in which my brothers have been murdered, where I am allowed to take care of even my own mother.
“The testing of all primary contacts associated with the positive patient, who is, in this case, is my mother, Zeenah Ibraheem, and also my father’s primary contact has been done.
“However, this disruptive plague is not a joke. It has not disappeared, it will not miraculously disappear and it is not a conspiracy theory.
“My mother is still in Kaduna prison at the moment yet to be hospitalized and to receive proper health care.”
Vanguard News Nigeria