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Nigeria gets first journalist testing positive for coronavirus


Governor Ahmadu Fintiri

Adamawa NUJ directs members to self-isolate for 14 days
A member of the Correspondents Chapel of the Adamawa Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has emerged the first journalist to test positive for COVID-19 and the index case in the state.

Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, in a statewide broadcast yesterday, confirmed the development, saying: “The index case is a returnee from Kano State last week.”

According to him, “upon feeling sick, the person presented himself at the state Specialist Hospital, Yola and his samples were taken and came out positive.”

It was learnt that on returning from the North West state, he immediately proceeded on self-isolation apparently due to suspicion.


A senior colleague told The Guardian yesterday that the respected journalist while at the Specialist Hospital, “got a call from the COVID-19 containment committee this morning (yesterday), informing him that his result showed he is positive for the virus.”

However, the governor said his administration had put all machinery in place to treat the reporter at the isolation centre in Yola.

He revealed that government had commissioned a contact-tracing mechanism to locate all that had met him and get them quarantined and tested.

Also, the state government has sealed the mosque where the journalist was regularly praying as part of preventive measures.

Fintiri urged the people to prepare for a total lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the state NUJ has directed members of the chapel to go on self-isolation for 14 days.

Besides, the national secretariat of the body yesterday condemned what it termed the “desperate desire by Governor David Umahi to destroy journalists and journalism in Ebonyi State.”

Its National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman, in a statement, said the “resolve by Governor Umahi to instigate attacks against journalists in the state is frightening, as it clearly signals that such attacks on the media are not going to abate any (time) soon.”

The union regretted that “Governor Umahi is ingloriously attaining notoriety in his continued harassment, detention and insults to journalists who dare to report what he feels is against the interest of his government.”

Also yesterday, the Ebonyi council of the body stressed that media practitioners deserve better working conditions and palliatives like health workers to enable them adequately discharge their duties as purveyors of information during this crisis period.

Its chairman, Tony Nwizi, who made the appeal in Abakaliki, lauded Governor Umahi for the ingenious way he had secured the state from the ravaging coronavirus.


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