More concerns seem to be growing in the Nigerian Army after 26 generals who had contact with Major General Olu Irefin tested positive for COVID-19.
Late Irefin, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, fell ill last week while attending the 2020 Chief of Army Staff Conference in Abuja.
He was later taken to a military hospital where he died of respiratory failure secondary to the complications of COVID-19 infection.
General Irefin was said to have visited some of his colleagues before the conference, and Channels Television gathered that 26 generals tested positive.
The acting Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sagir Musa, also confirmed that a total of 417 personnel have been tested with 26 confirmed positive cases as of Sunday, although he did not disclose the ranks of the infected persons.
According to him, all those who attended the conference are in self-isolation irrespective of their results.
General Musa stated that COVID-19 treatment drugs recommended by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) were immediately issued to those that tested positive.
He added that all officers and soldiers working at the Army Headquarters were being tested as COVID-19 protocols were being strictly enforced across all units and formations of the force.
The army spokesman noted that the entire Army Headquarters complex was thoroughly fumigated by health officials on Saturday last week.
He also explained the processes that led to the death of General Irefin in a statement on Sunday.
Part of the statement read,
The Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference (COAS) 2020, started on 7 December 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 Malor General JO Irefin, the late General Officer Commanding 6 Division, based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Same day, at about 9pm, 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 8 December 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.
Sadly, he passed on at about 0510 hours on Thursday 10th of December 2020. The cause of his death was reported as respiratory failure secondary to the complications of COVID 19 infection.