By Atsuku Matthew
Benue State Government is considering a total lockdown as a measure to curtail the rapid spread of Coronavirus disease experienced in the state within a short period of time after the ease on the partial lockdown introduced before.
Deputy Governor and Chairman, State Action Committee on COVID-19, Engr. Benson Abounu made this known at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi during a press briefing.
Engr. Abounu expressed worry over the negligence of preventive measures exhibited by people of the state and attributed the speedy rise in the number of infected cases to the ease of lockdown as well as the lukewarm attitudes towards Covid-19 guidelines.
He disclosed that 12 cases were recorded in one day, while the total number of infected persons stood at 47, with 30 receiving treatment while 16 had been treated and discharged and one patient transferred to another state.
The Deputy Governor dismissed the rumours that Benue has recorded the death of a Covid-19 patient. He said the deceased was suffering from many ailments long ago including leukemia, bone marrow disease and many other health complications. He stated however that, few days before he passed on, the man was coughing ceaselessly and so his blood sample was taken to Abuja for test and the result came out positive after his death.
Abounu stressed that the state government would take adequate care of the medical personnel who are in the frontline for the fight against the pandemic. He disclosed that 5 medical doctors treating Covid-19 patients and 2 ambulance drivers who have been conveying the victims from one point to another have contracted the virus and so they deserve commensurate care despite the mean resources at their disposal.
The chairman of the state Action Committee on Covid-19 made known to newsmen an initiative of the Northern Governors Forum to establish mobile testing centres in every state at the sum of $384,000 US per month. By this arrangement, Benue State will be paying the sum of N8 million monthly for a period of 24 months.
Answering questions from journalists on how much the Committee has realized so far and the total amount spent, Abounu explained that, they had received a total of roughly N240 million while the sum of N60 million has been spent on the preparation of isolation centres and treatment of patients.
“We have not realized up to N50 million since we started and we have not received money from anywhere government wise”, Abounu said.