I Don’t Regret Revealing Identity Of Benue’s Index Case: Ortom


Samuel Ortom
Samuel Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state says he doesn’t regret revealing the identity of the state’s COVID-19 index case, Mrs. Susan Okpe.

The Governor made this known in a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Terver Akase on Friday.

Orton says even though the patient has desperately tried to politicized the issue and whipped up ethnic sentiments, it was for the best interest of the people of the state to make her identity known.

Ortom added that with the identity of the index case known, tracking and isolation of all who had contacts with her became easy.

“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.

“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, BSUTH, 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.

Read Also: Ortom, Deputy Test Negative For Coronavirus

“But even in the United Kingdom where she left for Nigeria, the Prime Minister tested positive for COVID-19 and went public to say that he had contracted the disease.

“He was treated and later discharged. But here, Mrs. Okpe has refused treatment and taken to daily production of videos to castigate all medical personnel who attempt to attend to her, government officials and anyone who holds a contrary opinion regarding her case.

“We wish to remind Mrs. Okpe that she is no longer in the care of Benue State Government. NCDC is in charge of her case in Abuja and will ascertain her status. If she is certified free of COVID-19, the disease control agency will let her go. She needs to redirect her messages to the agency and leave Governor Ortom alone,” part of the statement read.


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