A resident officer of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has died of coronavirus (COVID-19) causing panic at the corps headquarters and orientation camps.
It was gathered that the late resident officer was posted to the permanent orientation camp in Kano, a few days ago where he developed COVID-19 symptoms and died on Tuesday.
Since the reopening of NYSC camps, many corps members have tested positive for COVID-19. For example, at the Cross River NYSC camp, 13 corps members were reported to have tested positive on January 25.
According to ThePunch, the deceased officer went to Kano State Orientation Camp where he represented the Director-General of the NYSC, Brigadier General, Shuaibu Ibrahim.
Confirming the death of the officer, NYSC Deputy Director (Press and Public Relations), Emeka Mgbemena, said he died outside the orientation camp.
Mgbemena said, “Indeed, NYSC lost an officer. In keeping with COVID – 19 protocols, everyone, including the DG , must subject themselves to COVID – 19 test. Only those that test negative are allowed into the camps.
“The officer in question was suspected of COVID-19. Accordingly, the NCDC took over the case. Sadly, he succumbed to the cold hands of death in the course of treatment. It is imperative to state that he did not step into the camp, neither did he die there too. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
“Everybody in the camp, including resource persons, camp market operators were tested for COVID – 19. There’s no COVID – 19 positive person in the 37 camps of the NYSC nationwide.”
But a top officer of the NYSC disclosed that the officer was tested by doctors and officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) who confirmed that he died as a result of COVID -19.
The source said, “The resident officer, who was posted from the NYSC National Headquarters in Abuja to Kano State NYSC permanent orientation camp died early this (Tuesday) morning as a result of COVID-19.
“But very unfortunately, the NYSC management and the NCDC are trying to hide the case. The officer and representative of the DG was tested by the doctors and the NCDC who confirmed that the officer died as a result of COVID-19 in the camp. Right now, multiple number of the NCDC staff are in the camp.”
Another source told ThePunch that the news of the senior officer death is currently causing panic at various NYSC orientation camps.
The Federal Government had snubbed a recommendation by the Economic Sustainability Committee led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The snub was done following the decision of the federal government to re-open orientation camps nationwide amid rising COVID-19 infections.
Recall that the Osinbajo-led committee had in June 2020 recommended that while the NYSC programme could continue, the three-week orientation exercise should be suspended for two years.