COVID-19: Edo death toll hits 50, assembly workers jittery over compulsory test

 By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City

The death toll from Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Edo State has climbed to 50, with a total of 1,435 people testing positive for the disease, while 840 persons have been discharged from the state isolation facilities.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, also noted that over 50 per cent of the deaths recorded in the state fall within the age category of 60 years and above, urging residents to be cautious to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Meanwhile, workers at the Edo State House of Assembly are currently living in fear following the state of the Majority Leader, Mr. Roland Asoro who has reportedly tested positive for the deadly Coronavirus.

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Also, the other six lawmakers were also ordered to undergo compulsory tests to determine their status.

This development has led to the Speaker Rt Hon Frank Okiye directing all staff of the assembly to for compulsory isolation and testing. He said one person has tested positive but did not disclose the identity of the person.

A staff who pleaded anonymity explained that his colleagues were scared following the health status of the Majority Leader who has since been taken to an isolation centre for treatment.

He said: “We are afraid of subjecting ourselves to test. We are afraid of the global pandemic. So many of my colleagues refused to show up today (yesterday) for work for fear of being tested.”

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Health Okundia advised that there was a need for residents to take responsibility and support the government’s efforts at containing the pandemic across all communities in the state.

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According to him, “Physical distancing, compulsory use of face masks, hand hygiene and other epidemiological safety rules must be strictly followed in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and protect the people, especially the elderly, who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“The commissioner explained that the state recorded 52 new confirmed cases with 32 tested at the Irrua Specialist Hospital (ISTH) laboratory, while the remaining 20 cases were confirmed at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) laboratory.

Okundia, however, reiterated the need for citizens to present or report themselves through the Edo State COVID-19 toll-free response lines following any recent travel from high incidence states or contact with confirmed cases.



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