As at Sunday, December 13, 2020, a total of 417 personnel of the Nigerian Army have so far been tested for Covid-19, 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 have being immediately issued to those that tested positive.
In a statement by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Sagir Musa while explaining the emergence of Covid-19 during the Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference notes that the programme 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 Major-General Olu Irefin, the late General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. On the same day, at about 9pm, having complained of fever, headache and mild cough, he was taken to the 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, 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. Sadly, he passed on at about 5.10am on Thursday December 10. The cause of his death was reported as respiratory failure secondary to the complications of Covid-19 infection.
The statement adds that om the confirmation that General Irefin’s Covid-19 test was positive on December 9, 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 protocols on Covid-19 pandemic. Equally, the comprehensive testing of all participants commenced immediately.
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 Nigerian Army. Meanwhile, the entire Army Headquarters complex was thoroughly fumigated on Saturday, December 12.