Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has tested positive for COVID- 19. Besides Ortom, nine of the governor’s aides have contracted the virus. The governor’s status came barely a week after some of his close aides, including his Aide De Camp (ADC), Chief Detail (CD) and personal physician also have been infected with the virus. Other associates of the governor who also tested positive earlier included his Principal Private Secretary, Mr. Stephen Amase, and Permanent Secretary, Government House administration, among others.
This is as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), yesterday, confirmed 32 new cases of Coronavirus in the state, bringing the total number of cases recorded in Benue to 749. Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Terver Akase, who confirmed Ortom’s status, said his latest COVID-19 result conducted by NCDC returned positive. “This followed the test results of most of the governor’s close aides who also returned positive in the last few weeks,” Akase said.
He said the governor has not shown any symptom of the disease, but has already commenced treatment as prescribed by medical personnel. He quoted the governor as advising those who have come in contact with him in the last couple of days to go for test. Ortom urged the people of the state to continue to observe the protocol for the prevention of the virus such as wearing of face masks, use of sanitizers, regular hand washing and physical distancing.
He also encouraged the people not to be afraid of going for COVID-19 test as only doing so would help in containing the spread of the disease. Meanwhile, the Benue Deputy Governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, during a press conference in Makurdi, said despite the number of officials that tested positive for the virus, all government activities were going on smoothly. Abounu disclosed that nine aides of Ortom had been infected with the virus.
Abounu, the State Chairman of Action Committee on COVID-19, said the committee had already carried out contact tracing of those who came in contact with all those infected by the virus. He said though nine aides tested positive for COVID- 19, the pandemic had not affected the day-to-day running of government in the state.