Three Nigerians who just returned from Togo, heading to Sokoto and Jos in Plateau States, have tested positive for coronavirus in Ogun State.
The trio were part of the 10 returnees, including a driver and a conductor, accosted at Imeko, in the Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of the state.
Daily Trust reports that Ogun has already recorded 20 cases, making it the fifth state with highest number of cases in Nigeria.
Speaking with newsmen in Abeokuta on Wednesday after inspecting the 250-bed specialist hospital in Abeokuta, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, said the government had accommodated the returnees and tested them for COVID – 19.
According to her, eight results have been received, out of which three tested positive for coronavirus.
Coker said; “from the eight cases, five came from a cluster, it was the same cluster we got the five cases from, then, about 72 hours ago.
“We had eight returnees from Togo heading to Sokoto and Jos, we housed them here with a driver and a conductor, making ten of them and we tested the ten of them about 48 hours ago and out of the ten, we got eight results so far, out of which three were positive.”
When asked of their origins, Coker said: “They are Nigerians returning from Togo. The important thing is that these are reported case and if we don’t deal with them now, we might have issues of community spreading.”
Coker also said the state may likely record more positive cases of coronavirus following the commencement of community testing across the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.
About 150 people have been screened and tested for COVID-19 in Abeokuta since the commencement of the community testing on Tuesday.
Coker said the measure was meant to prevent a community spread of COVID-19, which may pose greeter challenge to the state.
“However, we should expect that we are going to keep on having a ramping up of numbers. As we announced, we started testing population based since yesterday (Tuesday). When we do more tests, we are likely to have more results that are positive and the state is prepared.
“As we all know, we have four isolation centres, Ikenne has the highest capacity which is 128 beds, OOUTH has 25 beds and Iberekodo has 72 beds. So we are ready to scale up. We have also identified sites where we can scale up into if we come to a situation of exhausting our capacity of 300,” Coker said.
Also speaking with newsmen, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Director General, Dr Chike Ihekweazu, justified delay in accreditation of the state molecular laboratory.
“We don’t want to start a laboratory and tomorrow we have to shut it down… laboratory testing is a very complex process, we have to be sure we have the supply chain, the technical capacity, the human resources, in addition to the lab.
“Once all of that is assured, it is in our own best interest to make sure that testing happens as close to the people as possible.
“We have had a lot of discussions around this and I can assure you that in no distance future, that lab will be serving the people of Ogun State as it supposed to be,” he said.