As Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to make Nigeria politicians its primary target, reports have it that the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Frank Okiye, has tested positive to the virus.
The deputy governor of the state, Philip Shaibu, disclosed this on Wednesday while addressing journalists in the state’s capital, Benin City.
Shaibu said: “The index case of Coronavirus in Edo, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Frank Okiye, who travelled to the United Kingdom came back and has been on self-isolation.
“He was tested and proved positive. He is in stable condition and his family members have been tested and they all came out negative.
“Gov. Godwin Obaseki has also gone on self-isolation, following his close contact with Gov. Bala Muhammad and the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, who have both tested positive to coronavirus,” he said.
Shaibu, while speaking on the spread of the pandemic in the state, revealed that the state government had adopted measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the state.
He stated: “Government has acquired 40 drums of hand sanitisers for distribution across all Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
“We are still maintaining that a gathering of persons above 20 is restricted, markets remain closed, except for those selling essential commodities like food and medicine,’’ he said.
The deputy governor also disclosed that 111 persons had been tracked so far, 64 per cent of them located and five samples were taken for test.
He, however, assured that the state has a very strong contact tracing team because of its experience with the handling of the Lassa fever.
In a related development, the Bauchi State Commissioner for Education, Aliyu Tilde, has said that Nigeria may not be able to handle a large Covid-19 outbreak due to a shortage of test kits.
Tilde, who suspected he had been exposed to a positive patient, said he was unable to get tested because the test kits brought to the state were not enough.
The commissioner was one of the state government’s officials suspected to have been in contact with the state governor, Bala Mohammed, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.
However, Tilde on his Facebook page, said he could not be tested for the virus on Wednesday because the test kits brought from Abuja finished early. He said results for those tested on Tuesday would be available on Wednesday.
Currently, Nigeria has five testing laboratories; three of which are located in the southwest – (two in Lagos and one in Osun State), one in Abuja and one in Edo State. Abuja, according to findings, conducts testing for the North.