The Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference (COAS) 2020, started on 7 December 2020 with the virtual commissioning of the Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command’s Headquarters at Giri by the President, Commander- in -Chief. Among the attendees was Maj Gen JO Irefin, the late General Officer Commanding 6 Division, based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Same day, at about 9pm, having complained of fever, headache and mild cough, he was taken to Defence Medical Centre, Abuja. His medical history revealed that he was treated for malaria with parenteral artemether a week ago at 6 Division Medical Services and Hospital in Port Harcourt Barracks. On Wednesday 8 December 2020, his sample for COVID 19 was taken and he was directed to self isolate pending the outcome of the test. On the same day, the result of his COVID 19 test was confirmed positive and was taken to Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, Abuja for further management. Sadly, he passed on at about 0510 hours on Thursday 10th of December 2020. The cause of his death was reported as respiratory failure secondary to the complications of COVID 19 infection.
On the confirmation that Gen Irefin’s COVID19 test was positive on 9 December 2020, the Chief of Army Staff directed the immediate suspension of the conference and all participants were directed to move into self isolation in line with FGN protocols on COVID 19 pandemic. Equally, comprehensive testing of all participants commenced immediately. Consequently, as at Sunday the 13th of December 2020, a total of 417 personnel have so far been tested with 26 confirmed positive cases. Currently, all participants are in self isolation irrespective of their results while Nigeria Centre for Disease Control recommended COVID-19 treatment drugs were immediately issued to those that tested positive.
Accordingly, all officers and soldiers working at the Army Headquarters are being tested and COVID-19 protocols being strictly enforced across all units and formations of the NA. Meanwhile, the entire Army Headquarters complex was thoroughly fumigated on Saturday 12 December 2020.
Acting Director Army Public Relations