Lagos | At least 26 Nigerian generals have tested positive for the novel coronavirus – and one of them died – after attending a conference in Abuja, the military said on Sunday evening.
These officers were screened for COVID-19 following the death of Major General John Irefin during the annual Chiefs of the Army conference held last week in Nigeria’s capital.
The army added in a statement released Sunday evening that it had “ordered the immediate suspension of the conference and all participants were asked to go into isolation.”
“All participants were immediately tested,” added the same source, adding that out of 417 people tested, 26 were confirmed positive for COVID-19.
Officers who tested positive for the virus began to receive medical treatment, the same source said.
Nigeria has reported a spike in CIOVID cases in recent weeks, raising fears of a second wave of the pandemic. Africa’s most populous nation recorded 3,820 new cases of the coronavirus last week.
Health authorities fear that Nigeria will not be able to cope with a second wave because of the weakness of health structures and poorly equipped and demotivated staff.
Health Minister Osagie Ehanire blamed the increase in infections on people who did not comply with preventive measures like wearing masks, washing hands and physical distancing.
He ordered health authorities to reopen isolation and treatment centers that had been closed due to a drop in the number of cases.
COVID-19 has so far infected 73,175 people and killed 1,197 people in the West African country with a population of 200 million.