The Kogi state government has rejected the two COVID-19 positive cases announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, insisting that the state is free of Coronavirus disease.
Only Kogi state and Cross River were previously the only states not to have recorded any case of the virus.
However, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Haruna Audu in a statement maintained that Kogi State has zero case.”
Just as the state’s Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, described the NCDC reporting process as fraudulent during a television programme, saying “We are completely rejecting such declarations because they do not even conform to the protocols set by the NCDC itself.
“When you look at the history of the cases they declared, the patient was admitted at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja for symptoms that were far from COVID-19 symptoms. But they were not attended to there and the next thing was to bring them to the National Hospital in Abuja. And within a few hours, they were tested, and under 24 hours, the man was declared COVID-19 positive.
“It is fraudulent as far we are concerned and we are rejecting them in its entirety.”
Meanwhile, the NCDC had earlier maintained that due process was followed in recording the Kogi cases.
At the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Thursday, the Director-General of the NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the Kogi index case was a referral from the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja.
“There is actually no dilemma in the two cases,” he said. “They followed absolutely normal practice.
“A patient that was referred from the Federal Medical Centre to the National Hospital. This is a normal referral pathway when you have a case.
“The physicians in the National Hospital, I don’t have any influence over the work that they do. They suspected COVID-19 based on the clinical symptoms of the patient, asked for a test, and the test came out positive.
“The individual lives in Kogi state. And public health response is based on where you live because that’s where your contacts are.
“So this is not controversial in any way. Standard practice was followed. Once the results came out, the state’s Epidemiologist was informed that he has to do contact-tracing around this patient. It is the state’s responsibility to do that contact-tracing. So we hope they do it. There is nothing actually controversial in any way about this.”
On whether the NCDC was willing to subject its test for validation, Ihekweazu said, “we are a public health organisation, everything we do is open to the Nigerian people.”
In a statement, the Commissioner for Health said, “Kogi State till this very moment is Covid-19 free. We have developed full testing capacity and have conducted hundreds of tests so far which have returned negative.”
The full statement by the Commissioner for Health reads:
Kogi State till this very moment is Covid-19 free. We have developed full testing capacity and have conducted hundreds of tests so far which have returned negative.
We have also continued to insist that we will not be a party to any fictitious Covid-19 claims which is why we do not recognise any Covid-19 test conducted by any Kogite outside the boundaries of the State except those initiated by us. Any attempt to force us to announce a case of Covid-19 will be vehemently rejected.
We continue to enjoin our people to take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic into the State and give no listening ears to rumour peddlers and mischief makers.
We are more than prepared to secure the life of our people and have no interest in playing politics with their Health concerns.
God bless Kogi State!
God bless Nigeria!
Dr Saka Haruna Audu
Honourable Commissioner for Health