By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigerian Army officially announced Sunday night that 26 senior officers have so far tested positive for COVID-19, in the wake of the death of its General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division Port Harcourt, Maj.- Gen. Johnson Irefin.
Irefin attended the Chief of Army Staff Conference in Abuja on Monday, where he complained about some discomfort. A day after, he showed classic symptoms of the virus: fever, headache and mild cough.
A test later confirmed he had COVID-19.
Despite the efforts to stabilise him, he died of the virus on Thursday 10 December, triggering the shut down of the conference.
Army chief, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai went into isolation and also ordered all the officers who attended the conference to isolate and offer themselves for testing.
Buratai also disinvited the officers to the wedding of his son last Friday.
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sagir Musa, disclosed on Sunday that a total of 417 personnel had so far been tested up till Sunday.
The tests confirmed the 26 cases. .
“Currently, all participants are in self isolation irrespective of their results while Nigeria Centre for Disease Control recommended COVID-19 treatment drugs were immediately issued to those that tested positive,” he said.
The army spokesperson also disclosed that all officers and soldiers working at the Army Headquarters were being tested while COVID-19 protocols were being strictly enforced across all units and formations of Nigerian army.
He said that the entire Army Headquarters complex was thoroughly fumigated on Saturday Dec. 12.