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COVID-19: I have no regrets revealing the identity of Benue index case —Ortom

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, said Saturday he had no regrets revealing the identity of the state’s COVID-19 index case, Mrs. Susan Okpe.

The governor, who disclosed this in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said the decision was made in the best interest of the people of the state.

He expressed shock that the COVID-19 case had through several social media videos alleged that she was detained in Makurdi and stigmatized on account of her status.

The statement read: “It is the constitutional duty of the governor to ensure the safety and wellbeing of his people. Section 26 (2) (e) of the National Health Act, 2014 gives the government the powers to disclose information relating to a person if ‘non-disclosure of the information represents a serious threat to public health.’

“Mrs. Okpe admitted in her numerous videos that on her arrival in Benue State, she visited a private hospital in Makurdi for treatment. She also admitted that the doctor in the private hospital later informed her that she had tested positive for COVID-19 and was to be treated.

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“After the Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu led a team of medical experts to counsel Mrs. Okpe and explained to her why she had to be moved to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, it was only proper that the people were informed that there was an index case in the state. This is precisely what the governor did.

“It is rather sad that Okpe who is a Nigerian citizen has insulted all Nigerians and says repeatedly that she does not trust anyone in this country.”

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