The Ekiti State government said it has commenced investigation into the alleged COVID-19 fumigation of the State College of Health Sciences and Technology Ijero-Ekiti, which led to the hospitalisation of over 100 students of the institution.
Tribune Online gathered that officials of the Federal Fire Service were alleged to have commenced a ‘COVID-19 fumigation exercise’, on Wednesday, in the school which coincides with the time the students were writing their exams.
Some of the students hospitalized were said to be asthmatic patients who developed complications after inhaling the chemical substance used for the fumigation.
One of the sources said: “The people came to the school today to fumigate which cut many surprised because nobody is talking about COVID-19 fumigation at the moment.
“The students were writing their exams today and I believe the chemical substance used affected many of them which made them be hospitalised. It is a very dangerous situation in our hands. They(students) inhale the substance and it really affected many.”
Those with critical conditions were said to have been rushed to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti and the ABUAD multi-system hospital.
Confirming the development in a statement on Wednesday, the Ekiti ministry of health said about 100 students were affected, but some of them were later discharged after receiving treatment.
The state also disclosed that the incident was the result of a fumigation exercise carried out in the school.
“Today, we received information that a number of students from the Ekiti State College of Health Technology, Ijero, were hospitalised at State Specialist Hospital Ijero, as a result of an ill-timed fumigation exercise,” the statement reads.
“About 100 students were affected, but when the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Oyebanji Filani, and other representatives of the State Government got to the facility, only 36 students were still admitted as others had been treated and discharged.”
The ministry added that two of the students were transferred to the Afe Babalola Multi-System Hospital in Ado Ekiti, and the Federal Medical Centre in Ido “for further treatment and observation”.
“More resources have been deployed to the State Specialist Hospital to support treatment. These supplies include oxygen cylinders and IV fluids. Also, more doctors have been deployed from Aromoko in addition to the existing team to facilitate faster and better treatment,” the ministry said.
“We regret this situation and we are closely monitoring the hospitalised students to ensure they fully recover.
“We are also in close communication with the school and other concerned bodies to ensure that we investigate the incident to prevent another occurrence.”
The state appealed for calm, adding that they “understand that the students of the college are upset about the incident and we duly empathise with them”.
The students were also urged “not to destroy health equipment and facilities as this could have a negative counter effect on the situation”.
We regret this situation and we are closely monitoring the hospitalised students to ensure they fully recover.
We are also in close communication with the school and other concerned bodies to ensure that we investigate the incident to prevent another occurrence. pic.twitter.com/kX1AUkByRi
— Ekiti State Ministry of Health and Human Services (@Ulera_Ekiti) May 26, 2021