Two yet-to-be identified persons are alleged to have died of Coronavirus after attending the lavish and star-studded 80th birthday party of Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, George Adetola Oguntade.
The colourful ceremony, which took place on March 10, 2020, was held at the London Hilton on Park Lane, a posh area of UK’s most popular city – London.
Apart from the two guests alleged to have died of the virus after attending the event, one other attendee is said to be on ventilator at a hospital in London.
One of the two persons that died is said to be related to Dorlapoh Crystals, a popular UK-based business owner whose company customises fashion items.
The development has since raised fears that scores of other attendees at the ceremony could have contracted the deadly virus.
Among prominent Nigerians, who attended the party are billionaire Rasak Okoya and his wife Sade, a former governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, Kessington Adebutu (Baba Ijebu), Oba Saheed Elegushi, music icon – Ebenezer Obey, and Dele Momodu.
Many of these high-profile guests have since returned to Nigeria, further raising concerns that some of them may have imported the dreaded virus into the country without knowing.
Coronavirus was first detected in the United Kingdom on January 31 and since that period, there has been 8,077 confirmed infections and 422 deaths.
Therefore, as at the time Oguntade’s birthday was staged in London on March 10, the virus had fully taken up strategic positions across most parts of the UK.
In a recent interview, Momodu, a veteran journalist and Publisher of Ovation International, confirmed attending the party in London but said that he had no symptoms of the pandemic.
Senior airport sources however, told SaharaReporters that many top Nigerians, who arrived in the country from UK and other parts of the world before the ban on international flights into Nigeria was announced, refused to submit themselves for medical screening for the virus.
Already, a number of prominent Nigerians have been confirmed to have contracted the virus.
Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, and Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Frank Okiye, have all tested positive to the virus while dozens others including state governors, who came in contact with them in recent days have now gone into self-isolation in order to ward off the pandemic.
Nigeria has 46 confirmed cases of Coronavirus so far and one recorded death.
Though government at the federal and state levels have adopted series of measures to curtail the pandemic, there are fears of the virus spreading further in the coming days.