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Kogi Versus NCDC: Who Will Nigerians Believe?

Presently, there are over 12,000 confirmed cases, with over 4,000 discharged and over 200 deaths. Perhaps, the reason people are not availing themselves for testing is owing to allegations in several quarters that malaria patients and those suffering other kinds of disease are considered COVID-19 patients, without getting tested or their test results to confirm their status.

The true scenario of COVID-19 index case in Kogi State still hangs in the balance, as the Kogi State Government continues to oppose the report by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. The state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo said the alleged index case in Kogi only suffered a bee sting.

 On 27th of May 2020, the NCDC announced that Kogi State had two confirmed cases of Corona virus. Fanwo while reacting to NCDC’s claim said the Chief Imam of Kabba Abubakar Ahmad who was one of the persons tested suffered a bee sting and has been discharged without seeing his test result.

‘We are shocked to discover that his experiences in the hands of the NCDC are far from everything that Nigerians have been told constitute best practices in a Covid-19 situation, especially its pathogenesis and management.

The Chief Imam, an upright and outstanding man who is only interested in the truth confirmed what we have known all along – that he did not test positive for Covid-19 and received no result of such a diagnosis neither did his doctors at the National Hospital, Abuja where he was confined advise him of it.

The cleric maintains that he suffered from nothing beyond complications from an attack by bees, medical conditions which pre-date the Covid-19 pandemic and stress from travels associated with his work. Till he was released yesterday, he was held in conditions which allowed him to interact with visitors’ Fanwo said

Fanwo said the case of the Imam’s son is even more strange as he tested negative for COVID19 saying for the period the Imam was in the custody of the NCDC and in keeping with his Covid-19 negative status, the son remained at liberty and was his father’s primary helper.

The Kogi State Commissioner said the cleric’s son  was never hospitalised and was allowed to go home each day and return the next. He was allowed to mingle freely with family, visitors, hospital staff and others. But he still remains the second case of Covid-19 in Kogi on the NCDC’s scoreboard.

The Commissioner also alleged that the NCDC was planning to announce a third case in kogi through “unverifiable processes”.

‘Nearly one week after she (the third patient) was sneaked onto the NCDC’s list, the Kogi State Government is yet to be armed with the actionable information she needs to take preemptive actions in line with the Covid-19 guidelines. We suspect that the NCDC’s lackadaisical attitude may not be unconnected with the knowledge that no infection has been found. Just like in the case of the Chief Imam and his family, let it be known that we are looking out for our citizen and will demand full reckoning should any harm come to her.”

 When asked to react to the allegations, the Director General of NCDC Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said the NCDC would not join issues with Kogi State Government. Just as the Presidential Task Force of COVID19 said Nigerians were not cooperating with the NCDC on testing for COVID-19.

This revelations is on the heels of threat by the lower chamber of the National Assembly to arrest Accountant General of the Federation, if he continued to turn down invitations to explain how 83 billion Naira allocated the Federal Government to fight COVID 19 was being spent

Chikwe Ihekwazu said, “it is unfortunate that State Government are not cooperating with us on this issue of testing. Many Nigerians are also not coming forward to be tested. We are pleading with lawmaker to help the PTF talk to people in the grassroots to come forward for testing.”

So far Nigeria has carried out about 100,000 tests. Although the NCDC boss said at the moment Nigeria has the capacity to carry out over 200,000 tests per day. Just as Ihekwazu revealed that since the beginning of the pandemic the Federal Government has made available N5.620 billion to NCDC to fight the deadly virus out of which N1,126 billion has been spent.

Presently, there are over 12,000 confirmed cases, with over 4,000 discharged and over 200 deaths. Perhaps, the reason people are not availing themselves for testing is owing to allegations from people that a malaria patient and those suffering other kinds of disease are considered COVID-19 patients, without getting tested or their test results to confirm their status.