From Austine Tule, Makurdi
Palpable panic has hit Makurdi, the Benue state capital over new confirmed cases of covid-19 with Governor Ortom’s wife Eunice, his son, and other top Government officials testing positive to the pandemic.
According to a report released by NCDC at the weekend, other Top officials of Government that tested positive to the virus include, The Secretary to the Benue State Government (SSG), Prof Anthony Ijoho SAN, Chief of Staff, Mr Terwase Orbunde, the State Head of Civil Service , Mrs Veronica Onyeke, and other aides of the Benue state first family.
Confirming the development while briefing journalist at the Benue People’s at the weekend, Governor, Samuel said” my wife, Dr. Mrs. Eunice Ortom and Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Prof. Anthony Ijohor have tested positive for COVID-19.
“My Chief of Staff, Hon. Terwase Orbunde and the state Head of Service, Mrs. Veronica Onyeke among others have also tested positive for the virus.”
Ortom said though he tested negative, the first family had decided to go into total isolation including himself and urged people of the state to go for testing to ascertain their status and take necessary action.
According to Ortom ” one lesson that I want Benue people to appreciate and understand is that everybody has to make himself available for testing. The more you test, the more you know your status; when you know that you are positive, then you can subject yourself to treatment.”
Asked wether government was contemplating another lockdown owing to the increase in the number of cases in the state, Ortom said the state Action Committee on COVID-19 would sit early next week to review the situation with a view to considering the next line of action.
While noting that testing positive for the virus was not a death sentence, the Governor urged people of the state to take preventive protocols seriously in order to help stop the spread of the pandemic.
The Governor’s wife had earlier issued a statement she personally signed confirming her status and one of her sons, even as she called on anybody she might have come in contact with to go into self isolation and subsequent testing.
“While I have taken the responsibility to personally call every one I can recall to have had recent contact with to go for testing, I advise any one who has had close contact with me in the last 2 weeks and the public to go for screening and testing,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Secretary to the State Government, Professor Anthony Ijohor and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Terwase Orbunde have also personally confirmed their status for the virus.