By Ovie Okpare
Security operatives led by government officials on Friday morning shut down the hospital where the late pastor (name withheld) who died of the COVID-19 pandemic was first admitted at the isolation centre of Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara.
The hospital, Gifted Hands Clinic and Maternity, located at Ugbori Street around Ekurede Itsekiri area of Warri was shut down by security and government officials led by the Chairman of Warri South, Dr. Michael Tidi.
NIGER DELTA TODAY Online had exclusively reported that the second case of the coronavirus in the state which was announced by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Thursday.
The deceased who died on Wednesday before his test result was released on Thursday was said to have contracted the virus from Lagos where he visited two week ago.
The deceased pastor who was a senior staff of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) was a pastor with one of the popular churches in Warri.
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NIGER DELTA TODAY Online reliably learnt that officials of the State COVID-19 Rapid Response Team had already identified some persons including fellow pastors who last met with the deceased before he was transferred to the isolation centre at DELSUTH.
A senior official of Warri South Council area confirmed the development to our correspondent on Friday when contacted.
Our source who pleaded anonymity said, “We understand that he (pastor) was hospitalized therebefore he was moved to Oghara. We are in a process of contact tracing.
“We have identified some persons who have volunteered to give us information on those he had direct contact with including his driver, fellow pastors. We are isolating all of them right away. We are still in the process of tracing church members.
“You journalists should let our people know that COVID-19 is real. We are now talking of a senior pastor dying of the virus meaning that the coronavirus is here with us. Nobody is making things up. Tell our people to stay at home.”
However, efforts to speak with Warri Council chairman, Dr. Tidi on the development proved abortive.