Two guests at Ambassador Oguntade’s UK party die of covid-19; panic among others
Two of the guests who attended the 80th birthday party of Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Justice George Oguntade, are dead, some of those who were at the party have confirmed to The PUNCH.
Owing to this development, some of the prominent Nigerians who attended the party held on March 10, 2020 in London have gone into self-isolation in the event that they test positive to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
The United Kingdom has witnessed a sharp increase in cases of COVID-19, with a lockdown planned by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson from Thursday (today).
Among prominent Nigerians at the party, according to The PUNCH, were industrialist and Founder, Eleganza Group of companies, Chief Razaq Okoya; his wife, Sade; former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba; Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun; his wife, Bamidele; veteran musician, Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi; popular businesswoman, Bola Shagaya; and Publisher of Ovation magazine, Bashorun Dele Momodu.
Others at the party included Abimbola, the wife of the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Bolanle, the wife of a former Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode; real estate guru, Olu Okeowo; Chairman of Channels Television, John Momoh; his wife; All Progressives Congress chieftain, Kemi Nelson; Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola; former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Sarah Sosan; and Senator Lanre Tejuosho.
Others include Aisha, wife of the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; Iyalode of Lagos, Bintu Tinubu; former Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; his wife; former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Major General Ike Nwachukwu (retd); his wife; comedian Tee A; Oba Saheed Elegushi; Erelu Abiola Dosunmu; Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs, Hajo Sani; and socialite, Nkiru Anumudu.
However, Okoya’s son-in-law, Chief Demola Seriki, told The PUNCH on Wednesday that though the industrialist had gone into self-isolation, he had tested negative for COVID-19.
Seriki said: “It is true that Chief Okoya and many others attended the birthday anniversary of Justice Oguntade in London two weeks ago.
“Since the news emerged that two people who attended the party died of coronavirus, Chief Okoya has done a test and he was negative.
“He is, however, in self-isolation.”
Also Osoba told The PUNCH that he arrived in Nigeria on Thursday last week and went into self-isolation as prescribed by the Lagos State Government.
Osoba, who said there was no cause for alarm, stated that at 81 if the virus was in his body, it would have manifested because the party took place 15 days ago.
He said: “Yes, I was at the party and it is true that two people had died, but a lot of unnecessary alarm is being raised, although, I sympathise with the families of those who died.
“It does not follow that they contracted the virus at the party.
“They probably might have been carrying it in their bodies and manifested soon after the party.
“But I was there and the party took place 15 days ago and if there is any virus in my body, it should have manifested by now.
“I came back last Thursday, almost a week today, and as I landed I granted an interview to TVC at the airport, considering the action that the Lagos State Government has been taken, I announced that I will be going into self-isolation immediately.
“I have been in self-isolation since I returned from the UK and I have had no symptom, no cough, no fever nor itches in my throat and I have been keeping to the rules as given by the government of Lagos State that all of us who arrived from abroad should isolate ourselves for 14 days.”
But in the case of Momodu, he said Doctors have refused to administer the COVID-19 test on him since he had shown no symptoms of the disease.
He took to his Twitter handle: “I have been inundated with phone calls and a deluge of messages regarding an 80th birthday celebration that I attended in London recently.
“It now appears that at least one person who was believed to have had the COVID-19 attended the party and he has subsequently died as a result of complications arising from the disease and/or other underlying conditions.
“As soon as the news broke, I immediately made arrangements yesterday night to have myself tested for the virus although I have not exhibited any of the symptoms associated with the virus.
“I called a senior Lagos State official and was informed by the relevant authorities that since I had not shown any symptoms in 14 days after the London party, no test was necessary.”
On her part, Shagaya said: “When I came back (from the event), I isolated myself for some days to observe if I would show any symptoms. But after few days without any sign of fever or cough, I came out (of isolation).”
Governor Abiodun and his wife have since tested negative. PUNCH