*417 participants tested
*Army headquarters fumigated
*Officers, soldiers in army headquarters, formation, units to be tested
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Reeling from a gale of infections in the aftermath of the Chief of Army Staff Conference held last week in Abuja, the Nigerian Army has said that 417 personnel, who participated in the conference have undergone tests out of which 26 senior officers and participants tested positive for COVID-19.
Media reports quoting sources had claimed that 18 generals had tested positive for the virus.
The army has battled to contain conspiracy theories peddled around after the death of Kogi State born former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Major General Olubunmi Irefin, who died of complications arising from COVID-19 during the conference, in what is now believed to be a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement issued by Army Spokesman, Brigadier-General Sagir Musa, said all officers and soldiers at the army headquarters, formations and units across the country were to be tested for COVID-19.
He said as at Sunday, December 13, 2020, a total of 417 personnel had so far been tested with 26 confirmed positive cases.
“On the confirmation that Gen Irefin’s COVID-19 test was positive on 9 December 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 FGN protocols on COVID 19 pandemic.
“Equally, comprehensive testing of all participants commenced immediately. Consequently, as at Sunday the 13th of December 2020, a total of 417 personnel have so far been tested with 26 confirmed positive cases”, it said.
According to the statement, “all participants are in self isolation irrespective of their results while Nigeria Centre for Disease Control 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 Nigerian Army.
Meanwhile, the entire Army Headquarters complex was thoroughly fumigated on Saturday 12 December 2020″.