Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
As Benue State records its 39th case of COVID-19, the state Action Committee on COVID-19 has disclosed that the state was already experiencing community spread of the virus.
Secretary of the COVID-19 Action Committee and Commissioner of Health and Human Services Dr Sunday Ongbabo, who disclosed this to newsmen at the weekend, advised people to ensure use of face masks, maintain social distancing and observe other COVID-19 protocols.
Ongbabo, an expert in emergency health services, who revealed further that some workers in the state have contracted the virus, urged workers to strictly observe COVID-19 protocols at work and in their homes.
Ongbabo lamented that many citizens appear to be stubborn in the area of strictly adhering to safety precautions, pointing out that it would be impossible for the state government to appoint persons that would put face masks on the people at their homes and places of work.
The health commissioner said it was for this reason that the Action Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu, would soon recommend the enforcement of the use of face masks.
‘Benue and Nigeria cannot insist on continuous lockdown because America, Britain, Italy and other countries have had tough times dealing with the pandemic.
‘Those who are insisting on gathering in large numbers should choose between their lives and such congestion,’ he said.
He particularly noted that many have refused to observe social distancing in mosques, churches and markets.
The health commissioner enjoined Benue citizens to step up adherence to COVID-19 protocols, stressing that anyone still in doubt about the existence of COVID-19 is at risk of contracting the disease.
He noted that 11 fully recovered COVID-19 patients have so far been discharged in the state while the remaining patients were responding well to treatment.
The commissioner, who observed that the state hadn’t recorded any COVID-19 death, called on the people to continue to cooperate with members of the committees set up at different levels.