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Family of six, three doctors, 41 others test positive for COVID-19 in Benue

By Joseph Wantu, Makurdi
25 June 2020   |   4:15 am
A family of six, three medical doctors and 41 others have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Benue State.

A family of six, three medical doctors and 41 others have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Benue State.

Chairman of the state’s Action Committee on COVID-19, Deputy Governor Benson Abounu, made this known yesterday during a press conference at the Government House in Makurdi.

Abounu explained that a man travelled to Kano State, came back and infected his wife and four children, while the three doctors and a driver came in contact with the disease when they were taking blood samples of suspected cases to Abuja for testing.

He expressed dismay that Benue was witnessing community transmission of COVID-19 due to non-compliance of residents to Federal Government’s strict protocols and guidelines.

According to him, the committee had so far taken over 500 samples to the Nigeria Centre for disease Control (NCDC) for test, out of which 48 came out positive, while one person died of leukemia before the NCDC result came out and turned out positive.

He stated the state government was working towards total enforcement of the use of face mask, stressing that they procured over 100,000 face masks ready for distribution across the 23 councils of the state.

“There is going to be Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) meeting later in the day, where the enforcement and total compliance with the protocol on COVID-19 will be discussed, and if need be will go back to lockdown of various states. This time around, it will be total lockdown.

“We currently witness community transmission because people are not obeying the protocol on COVID-19. Even when there is still ban on inter-state travel, people still travel freely from one state to another. We in Benue have not lifted the ban on inter-state travel; so, any one found guilty of this will not go unpunished.

“The state government will embark on more serious and rigorous sensitisation to disabuse the minds of locals who believe that COVID-19 is a disease for ‘big men’ (elite) and cannot be contracted by the less-privileged in the society,” Abounu stated.

Throwing more light on the alleged death of a COVID-19 patient in the state, the deputy governor said the man was diagnosed of leukemia after which he went through major operation but could not survive.

He added that three days to his demise, the victim had started coughing and his sample was taken to NCDC, Abuja, and the result came out positive.

“We have embarked on contact/line tracing. We have identified five health workers who had personal contact with him before his death. So far, we have been able to trace over 100 people upon the death of the victim,” he said.