One of the patients of the viral disease, monkeypox, at the quarantine centre in Bayelsa State has committed suicide, the state government said on Monday.
The unnamed patient allegedly took his own life on Monday at an isolation centre at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
Addressing journalists in Yenagoa, the state capital, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, stated that the deceased was among the 21 suspected victims of the virus that were being managed at the teaching hospital.
Etebu was joined at the conference by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the Chief Medical Director of the NDUTH, Prof. Dimie Ogoina, and other senior health officials.
He expressed regret that the patient took his own life despite the fact that he was speedily recovering from the disease, noting that the medical history of the deceased did not suggest any mental illness or depression.
The health commissioner maintained that the patient did not die of the disease, adding that the police and his family had been duly informed and all due diligence was being followed for his patient.
While sympathising with the family, Etebu said that a committee had been set up to evaluate the past and recent clinical and social history of the deceased to determine if there was an undisclosed mental illness or personal family problem that could have instigated the suicide.
Etebu said laboratory test had confirmed that monkeypox was in the state.
He, however, assured the general public that the government was doing everything to contain the outbreak and ensure that all patients receive appropriate care and treatment.
Iworiso-Markson on his part urged residents to continue to use preventive measures, including avoiding eating bushmeat.
The Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, confirmed the suicide, saying the matter had been reported to the police.
He, however, said the police were not suspecting any foul play, noting that there were no visible marks of violence other than the rope that the deceased tied around his own neck.
The index case of monkeypox had broken out in Agbura, a suburb of Yenagoa in Bayelsa State.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, at a press conference in Abuja said all the monkeypox test samples obtained from Lagos State tested negative.