Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Frank Okiye, has been identified as the index case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Edo State.
The state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, announced this on Wednesday while addressing reporters at the Edo State Government House, Benin City.
He explained that: “Okiye travelled to the United Kingdom, came back and self-isolated. He sent his sample for testing and the test came back positive. He is in stable condition. His family members have been tested and the tests came back negative.”
According to the deputy governor, Okiye is currently receiving medical attention at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo State.
The Deputy Governor further announced that Governor Godwin Obaseki has gone into self-isolation following his close contact with the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who have both tested positive for COVID-19.
The Deputy Governor added that Obaseki has sent his samples for testing.
“On his own, the governor avoided meeting with everybody when he arrived in Benin from Abuja and has maintained social distance before going into self-isolation,” he said.
Shaibu said 111 persons were being tracked by the state government, adding that government was already in touch with 64 per cent of those being tracked, with six of them isolated and five samples taken.
He urged residents of the state not to conceal the disease.
As measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed over 19,000 people worldwide by the latest estimate, the Deputy Governor said the state government has bought 40 drums of hand sanitisers to be distributed to local government areas, palaces and other public places.
“We still maintain that gatherings of persons above 20 is restricted. Markets remain closed, except for those selling essential commodities such as food and medicine.
“The Edo State COVID-19 Response Committee continues to meet daily to review the situation,” he said, adding that there was hope in the face of a crisis which has already claimed one victim in Nigeria.