Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
There was palpable fear among journalists in Sokoto after the Editor of Newsdairyonline, Mr. Abdallah El-Kurebe, tested positive for COVID-19.
El-Kurebe’s case came a week after a reporter with the Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Eric Meya, died of COVID-19 at the Usman DanFodio Teaching Hospital, Sokoto.
The editor was said to have sent a text message to his colleagues to warn them that the COVID-19 is real and advised that they should go and be tested.
El-Kurebe said that he is currently at the State’s COVID-19 Isolation Centre where he is receiving treatment after being confirmed positive on Sunday by health workers at the isolation centre.
He told his colleagues that he voluntarily drove himself to the centre last Friday for his sample to be taken by doctors even though he was stable and without any symptom.
He said: “As a science journalist and following the outbreak of the novel COVID-19, I always took precautionary measures to ensure I did not contract the dreaded disease.
“My publisher, Mr. Danlami Nmodu, would always call me, almost every day, to say ‘editor, be careful ooo! Follow all protocols. Please, don’t stress yourself. Avoid overcrowded places.’
“I observed all protocols as instructed by my publisher who called every day to warn me against breaching them.
“I remember one of the cases who found comfort in mingling with journalists at any event. He will always be with us at every assignment. He later tested positive and died.
“At one of the COVID-19 press briefings by the Commissioner for Health, who is also the Chairman, Sokoto State Taskforce on COVID-19, I raised colleagues’ consciousness of the need to voluntarily go for test.
“The following day, a colleague was reported to have been rushed to the hospital but died two days after. But because his sample had been taken at the hospital, the result was positive after he had died.
“Even though I had and still don’t have any symptom, I felt a stronger need not to wait a day longer but rush to get tested. And on Friday, May 1, I drove myself to the Centre where my sample was taken.”