Six prospective corps members test positive for COVID-19 in Abia
57, 230 people live with HIV/AIDS in Imo, says expert
Abia State Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mrs. Bona Fasakin, yesterday, revealed that six corps members tested positive for COVID-19 in the state Orientation Camp at Umuna, Bende Council Area.
She stated this while reacting to a report that some corps members tested positive for the virus in the camp, adding that the camp was COVID-19 free before the arrival of the prospective corps members.
She told The Guardian that of the 1,181 persons tested comprising 208 workers and 973 corps members, only six reportedly tested positive for the virus.
State Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu, said the state Epidemiology Department deployed officers to the camp to screen persons and ensure that only those that tested negative were allowed into the camp.
He said the tests were conducted with Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit, adding that of the six that tested positive, five were confirmed, while four were already treated at the Isolation Centre and discharged leaving one who was awaiting discharge as at yesterday.
He added that there was no peculiar risk for corps members in the camp, as the best possible precaution was taken to protect everyone.
Also, Director-General, Imo State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (IMOSACA), Dr. Charles Durueke, disclosed that no fewer than 57,230 persons currently live with HIV/AIDS in the state.
Durueke, who made the disclosure at this year’s World AIDS Day in Owerri, said the agency was committed to achieving zero new infections, discrimination against people living with the infection and AIDS-related deaths in 2020.
He explained that the agency also engaged key stakeholders to develop a strategic plan (SSP) 2021-2025, which he said, would give a clear roadmap in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the next five years.
“Imo State is targeting an estimated 327, 011 people living with HIV (PLHIV) by 2025, considering projected increase in HIV testing services with the introduction of new testing methods with a target of 91 per cent ART coverage by 2025.
“Report of 2018 Nigeria AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) showed that Imo has a prevalence rate of 1.8 per cent above the national prevalence rate of 1.4 per cent. The Survey puts the state among the 7-1 HIV high burden states in the country,” he added.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Damaris Osunkwo, reaffirmed state government’s commitment to the wellbeing of people living with HIV/AIDS and others in the state.