Covid-19: Expect more cases, Edo warns


By Jethro Ibileke

The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, has warned that cases of coronavirus disease will continue to increase, as the state ramps up testing for the virus.

He gave the warning on Tuesday in Benin, the state capital, while briefing journalists.

Recall that the State House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Frank Okiye, was announced as the index case in the state on March 25.

Okundia said no fewer that 254 persons have so far been screened for coronavirus disease in Edo state, out of which 29 tested positive for the virus.

According to him, results for 31 samples are pending, adding that there are 326 Persons of Interest (PoI) in the state and out of this number, 105 have exited follow-up; 420 contacts have been line-listed, and 300 have exited monitoring.

He said “197 of the suspected cases were confirmed negative, representing 76.4 percent. Out of the 29 confirmed cases, we have recorded 3 deaths and discharged eight patients.

“Total active cases in the state currently undergoing treatment are 18. These persons are distributed across three isolation centres in the state.”

Also speaking, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Coordinator in the State, Mrs. Faith Ireye, said from the 29 confirmed cases, the state has completed line-listing for 25 persons, which resulted to 420 contacts from which 300 exited, while 120 are being followed up.

She said, “Our team is in the field currently line-listing contact for the four new cases and at the end of today, we would have more contacts. As at today, 17 of the 18 LGAs have reported suspected cases; this is made possible by our strong contact tracing team in all the LGAs.”

Meanwhile, the State Focal Person for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Mrs. Ifueko Alufokhai, said data of the needy and vulnerable persons in the state are being collated.

Alufokhai added that a call centre is being set up to verify persons who will benefit from the mobile wallet package in partnership with Access Bank.

“We are coordinating the welfare package for the poor and vulnerable persons in Edo State. We are to also develop a long-term plan for proper targeting and employment of vulnerable persons in the state,” she said.