By Victoria Ikeano Lafia
Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19 in Nasarawa state may rise beyond the nine announced on Sunday, May 3, by the government and the 12 currently against its name on the NCDC website.
This follows disclosure by Governor Abdullahi Sule that the status of a member of the state’s House of Assembly who passed on recently emerged only after his death and burial.
Radio announcement of Hon. Adamu Suleiman, a legislator representing Nasarawa Central State constituency had stated that he died “after a brief illness”. Hon. Adamu died on Thursday and was buried according to Islamic rites the following day, Friday. It was not until Saturday that the government received the test result showing he had COVID-19.
The Nasarawa State governor explained that the lawmaker went to the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi after falling sick and his samples were taken for testing to Abuja after he exhibited some symptoms of the disease, adding that he passed on before the result could be obtained, two days after his death.
Residents in the state fear that Hon. Adamu may have infected all those he came in contact with as they were unaware of his status before he died. They include members of the state House of Assembly, his family members and others.
The state’s House of Assembly complex has now been shut and fumigated while Adamu’s colleagues – the 23 other lawmakers – are now in isolation and being tested for coronavirus.
Meanwhile, contact tracing of other people that interacted with him including those that participated in his burial ceremony as well as family members has begun.
Also worrisome to residents is the governor’s remark that some people are refusing to be tested, necessitating his appeal and reminder to the citizens that the disease “is not a death sentence”
Nasarawa State recorded its first index case on April 27 when a 27-year-old lady who travelled from Kano to Garaku in Kokona local government council tested positive to COVID-19.
It has three isolation centres with the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi and the State’s Specialist Hospital, Lafia, designated as treatment centres for COVID-19 patients. Its task force on coronavirus is headed by Deputy Governor Emmanuel Akabe, a medical doctor.
The death of the legislator from COVID-19 is yet to be reflected on NCDC’s statistics for Nasarawa state as at time of filing this report.