From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

At least, 200 cholera cases have been confirmed across four local government areas of Benue State in the last few weeks.

Twenty persons were also said to have been recorded dead from the outbreak of the disease in Guma, Agatu, Gwer-West and Makurdi Local Government areas of the state.

The leader of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) National Rapid Response team working in Benue State, Dr Ikechukwu Oradu, gave this disclosure during a visit to the Deputy Governor Engr. Benson Abounu at the Government House in Makurdi on Tuesday.

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The NCDC official said that findings had revealed that the affected communities lacked portable water and the people were drinking directly from the river.

He enjoined the state government to consider drilling boreholes and public toilets for the affected communities to stop open defecation as well as the provision of rapid diagnostic kits for testing of cholera in the state.

Responding, the Deputy Governor said the Ministry of Health and Human Services has treated those affected since the outbreak, a development which he noted, had stopped the mortality rate from escalating.

Abounu revealed further that approval has been given for the construction of a world standard testing laboratory for Lassa fever, COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in the state.