From Dan Amasingha, Minna
As part of efforts aimed at halting the spread of the dreaded coronavirus through contact tracing, 27 persons have been quarantined by the Niger state government in an isolation centre in Minna.
DAILY ASSET gathered that the 27 person’s were quarantined following the suspicion that they might have contracted Coronavirus through contact with some patients that tested positive in Lagos.
The state commissioner of Health and Hospital services, Dr. Mohammed Makun Sidi confirmed this in an interaction with the media at the 50- bed space Niger state social rehabilitation centre that has been converted to an isolation centre.
He explained that prior to the discovery of the quarantined suspects, the family members of one of those in isolation who is based in Lagos state, had made a telephone call to members of the family, based in Makera, in Mashegu local govrrnment area of the state on the travel record of the individual.
According to the Health commissioner, when the isolated man boarded his own vehicle and was traveling to Makera after arriving from Lagos state amidst serious coughs many had suspected that he might have had contacts with someone who had tested positive for Covid- 19 in Lagos therefore, he was prevented from travelling to his village for obvious reasons.
Dr. Makun Sidi, further stated that no sooner that the relations of the suspect in Makera community in Mashegu local government area of the state received the information about the poor health condition of the suspected COVID-19 patient that they in turn made a call to the state task force members at the government house Minna.
“We were contacted by the relations with the view to take him to an isolation centre as soon as we lay hands on him through our contact tracing mechanism,” he stated.
The Commissioner of Health and hospital services express gratitude to the people of the state for being at the vanguard in the fight against COVID- 19 stressing that their cooperation had gone a long way in easing the task of the state task force.
Sidi disclosed that when information got to the fleeing suspect that his village people were not ready to receive him he decided to divert his route.
“But the suspect who might have heard about the plans of his family members in Makera to disallow him access to his family house in the village, on his arrival at Makera, on Monday, he parked his private vehicle that he brought from Lagos somewhere within the village, disguised as an ordinary person and boarded a Canter Truck, that was traveling to Wushishi local government area of the state and with 26 people on board the vehicle.
” However, the state government was already ahead of him in their plans to get him arrested and to take him to an isolation centre, along sides the other 26 passengers whose lives he was endangering when he boarded their truck”
“The tracking system of the state government later intercepted them from Mashegu local government area of the state enroute Wushishi to the facility at the Social rehabilitation centre, Shanu village in Bosso local government area of the state, from where they were being quarantined since on Monday”.
He said, “basically, we have these 27 persons here that might have had contacts with the man who returned from Lagos and has been exhibiting some common symptoms of the virus, but envaded arrest”
The state taskforce member revelled that it has not been confirmed that they were positive of the pandemic but all the task force was doing is proactive measures to forestall the spread of the virus in the state.
“The issue is that he were coming from the epic centre and because of the directive of the World Health Organization ( WHO) and Nigeria centre for Disease Control ( NCDC) to quarantine such people that is why we are doing what we are doing “
They are being quarantined in order for them to obey the quarantine rules, in this isolated place at the Social Rehabilitation Centre, Minna for a minimum of 14 days and pending the outcome of the tests we conducted on them that has been taken for analysis at NCDC, in Abuja.
He however disclosed that the results of the tests conducted on the 27 persons with suspected corona virus symptoms were being expected in the state by next week, adding that the moment the Niger State Ministry of Health and Hospital Services get the results, will determine how long the people will stay at the Isolation centre.