From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin

The Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin, has discharged 15 of the 17 COVID-19 positive National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members posted to Edo State for their mandatory one-year national service.

Seventeen Corps members and a cook had tested positive to COVID-19 and were subsequently admitted for treatment at the hospital.

A source who asked to remain anonymous said that the first set of the18 patients was brought to the hospital for treatment on July 27 while the last set was admitted on August 2.

The source maintained that the remaining three are responding to treatment and will be discharged as soon as they test negative for the dreaded disease.

A total of 1,568 Corps members deployed to the state had last Monday took the oath of allegiance
at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Okada, Ovia North East local government area of the state.

A statement by the state coordinator, Mrs Abiodun Olubukola, in Benin, said that prospective Corps members and visitors who reported at the orientation camp were properly tested by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) officials and those who tested positive were immediately handed over to the NCDC surveillance team on camp for further tests and treatment.

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Mrs Olubukola noted that the prospective Corps members were not registered yet in camp, assuring however that they will be registered after negative confirmation of COVID-19 by the NCDC.

She insisted that there is no COVID-19 positive Corps member on camp, adding that further confirmation of this is the satisfactory acknowledgement of the NYSC Edo camp by the World Health Organisation (WHO) officials who visited the Camp on Tuesday, August 3.

‘This is to further reiterate that there is no COVID-19 positive Corps member on camp.

‘The welfare and security of Corps members is a major policy thrust of the NYSC Director General, Brig Gen S Ibrahim, who ensures adherence to COVID-19 protocols and observance of all non-pharmaceutical interventions,’ she stated.

The ex-Chief Medical Director of Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Dr Osagie Ebomwonyi, had on Monday told Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki during an inspection of the Infectious Disease Isolation Centre at the hospital to assess the state’s readiness to respond to the Delta variant of COVID-19 that 17 of the Corps members who were deployed to the state were currently on admission for the dreaded disease.

Dr Ebomwonyi whose tenure expired on Tuesday said the confirmed cases are unvaccinated, adding: ‘We are undertaking studies and analysis to find out if we have the Delta variant in the state,’ he said.