The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Sunday confirmed that the state has recorded two new cases of the coronavirus.
In a statement made available to journalists on Sunday, the governor said one of the cases involved one of the recently arraigned suspects in the murder of Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the national leader of Afenifere, Reuben Fasoranti.
“We have confirmed two other cases in Ondo State,” Mr Akeredolu said.
“One of the cases involves one of the recently arraigned suspects in the murder of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, Pa Fasoranti’s Daughter.
“The Commissioner of police has been duly informed and the line tracing of police officers and others in the SARs facility where he was kept has started and their specimens are being collected.
“The suspect has been isolated from others and will be moved to the IDH for treatment. The commissioner of police has assured the state that there will be adequate security around the IDH premises to prevent his escape and while on treatment, he will be manacled to the bed.
“I will expatiate on all cases in my weekly press briefing tomorrow.”
The suspects were arraigned on Friday at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Akure and were ordered remanded at the Correctional Centre in Owo.
The magistrate, Victoria Bob-Manuel, however ordered that they be tested for COVID-19 and the result ascertained before being admitted into the correctional centre.
Mr Akeredolu had on Saturday confirmed the state’s fourth COVID-19 case, whom he described as a “reckless” officer who endangered the lives of citizens by traveling from Lagos to Akure after his confirmation as being positive in Lagos.
The governor said the police officer contracted the virus in Lagos, but in breach of the lockdown rules, came to Akure for treatment.
“Earlier today, I got news of another positive case of COVID19 admitted to our facility in Akure,” Mr Akeredolu had said.
“The case of this individual who is a police officer is unique.
“He was tested in Lagos but came to Ondo state while awaiting his results. Upon receiving a positive result, he claimed to have returned back to Lagos.
“According to him, he waited a few days in Lagos to be picked up. When this failed, he panicked and rushed back to Akure for treatment.”
Mr Akeredolu noted that while the state appreciated the confidence reposed in its facilities, the officer’s action was “most reckless” because he put the lives of others at a risk.
“I am most disappointed in the level of porosity of the entry points to the state,” he said.
“The police officer should know better. I have contacted the commissioner of police to double up on securing our entry points.”
PREMIUM TIMES however, gathered that the police officer’s driver, a policeman, has also tested positive to the virus although this has not been officially announced.
The development would bring the total number of confirmed cases in the state to six, from the official figure of four announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Saturday night.
Of the infected persons, one person had earlier been discharged after undergoing treatment.
Mr Akeredolu is expected to address the residents of the state on Monday on further measures to deal with the spread of the disease.
He had earlier threatened that he would order a total lockdown should the state witness a fourth positive case of the disease.
Now that his fears have been confirmed, it is not clear whether he would make good his threat to install harsher measures.
The first case of the virus in Ondo State, a military officer, had earlier been discharged after undergoing treatment at the state’s treatment centre in Akure.
The Commissioner for Health, Wahab Adegbenro, said the second case had tested negative for the virus after an initial test, and would need to undergo a second test to confirm he is virus-free.
He had also informed PREMIUM TIMES that the third case was responding well to treatment.
According to the NCDC, as of Saturday, the number of confirmed cases in the country is 1182, including 35 deaths and 222 discharged.