56 healthcare workers isolated
By Peter Duru – Makurdi
Five medical doctors and three support staff have reportedly contacted COVID-19 in Benue state while 56 other healthcare workers have been isolated and placed under supervision by the State Action Committee on COVID-19.
Chairman of the Committee and Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Benson Abounu who made the disclosure yesterday during his routine media briefing said the state was on red alert and was deploying all within its powers to contain the virus.
Mr. Abounu stated that over 500 samples had so far been tested for the virus in the state with 47 confirmed cases as at June 24, out of which 16 had been treated and discharged with 30 currently receiving treatment at the isolation centres at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, BSUTH, and the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi.
On the reported death of a COVID-19 victim in the state, he explained that the victim had a long battle with Leukemia and after undergoing a major operation died days late.
He said, “three days to his demise, he started coughing and his samples were taking and sent to Abuja and it came out positive.
“So, it is possible that the deceased who was not in isolation center must have had contact with coronavirus victim through those who were visiting him in the hospital.
“Hence it is difficult at this stage to say that what really killed him was COVID-19 but our team has been able to trace all those who had contact with the deceased including 57 health workers. Over 100 relations and family members who visited him while in the hospital have also been traced.
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On the lack of testing centre in the state, Mr. Abounu said
the Northern Governors’ Forum had concluded arrangement with a firm in Netherlands to make available 25 mobile testing centres with the support of a commercial bank at the cost of $384,000 per unit.
“Benue will get one of the units and we will pay N8million monthly for 24 months to offset the cost. The mobile testing centre will help us address the problem of lack of testing centres in the state,” the Deputy Governor said.