Eight more Army Generals positive as 417 undergo test

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EIGHT more Army Generals and other senior officers have tested positive for COVID-19, making 26 those infected with the virus, the Nigerian Army stated yesterday.

Four hundred and seventeen have been tested for COVID-19 after the General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Maj-Gen. Johnson Olu Irefin, died from COVID-19 complications during the Annual Chief of Army Staff Conference in Abuja.

Acting Director Army Public Relations Brig-Gen. Sagir Musa, in a statement, said they now have a total of 26 confirmed cases after 417 personnel were tested.

According to the statement, officers and soldiers working at the Army Headquarters are being tested. “COVID-19 protocols are being strictly enforced across all units and formations of the NA,” the statement added.

Brig-Gen. Musa stated that the Army Headquarters complex “was thoroughly fumigated on Saturday, December 12, 2020”.

The statement reads: “The Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference (COAS) 2020 started on December 7, 2020, with the virtual commissioning of the Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command’s Headquarters at Giri by the President, Commander- in -Chief. Among the attendees was Maj-Gen J.O. Irefin, the late General Officer Commanding 6 Division, based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Same day, at about 9p.m., having complained of fever, headache and mild cough, he was taken to Defence Medical Centre, Abuja.

“His medical history revealed that he was treated for malaria with parenteral artemether a week ago at 6 Division Medical Services and Hospital in Port Harcourt Barracks. On Wednesday, December 8, 2020, his sample for COVID 19 was taken and he was directed to self-isolate pending the outcome of the test. On the same day, the result of his COVID 19 test was confirmed positive and was taken to Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, Abuja for further management.”

It added: “Sadly, he passed on at about 0510 hours on Thursday, December 10, 2020. The cause of his death was reported as respiratory failure secondary to the complications of COVID 19 infection.

“On the confirmation that Gen. Irefin’s COVID-19 test was positive on December 9, 2020, the Chief of Army Staff directed the immediate suspension of the conference and all participants were directed to move into self-isolation in line with the Federal Government’s protocols on COVID 19 pandemic.

“Equally, comprehensive testing of all participants commenced immediately. Consequently, as of Sunday, December 13, 2020, a total of 417 personnel have so far been tested with 26 confirmed positive cases. Currently, all participants are in self-isolation, irrespective of their results while the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recommended COVID-19 treatment drugs were immediately issued to those that tested positive.

“Accordingly, all officers and soldiers working at the Army Headquarters are being tested and COVID-19 protocols being strictly enforced across all units and formations of the NA. Meanwhile, the entire Army Headquarters complex was thoroughly fumigated on Saturday, December 12, 2020.”

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