Ichaba Simon, Lokoja
Kogi State Government has rejected the claim by NCDC that the state has recorded two COVID-19 cases.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, yesterday disagreed with the claim, saying Kogi is still free of the disease.
Audu said tests not authorised by the state government would be resisted.
In a statement issued in Lokoja, the commissioner explained that the state has developed the full testing capacity and conducted hundreds of tests, which returned negative.
He said the state had also continued to insist that it would not be a party to any fictitious COVID-19 claims which is “why we do not recognise any COVID-19 test conducted by any resident of Kogi State outside the boundaries of the state except those initiated by us.”
He stated that any attempt to force the state to announce a case of COVID-19 would be rejected.
However, when asked to explain the circumstances surrounding the confirmation of the COVID-19 index case for Kogi State, Ihekweazu told journalists yesterday in Abuja that there was nothing unusual about the procedure adopted in pronouncing the results from the patients’ samples from Kogi State.
“There is actually no dilemma in the two cases; they followed the normal process. The patient was referred from the Federal Medical Centre to the National Hospital, Abuja.
“This is a normal referral pathway when you have a case. I don’t have any influence over the physicians in the National Hospital. They suspected COVID-19, based on the clinical symptoms of the patient, asked for a test and it came out positive. The individual lives in Kogi State. In public health response, it is based on where you live because that is where your contact is. So, this is not controversial in any way. Standard practice was followed and once the results came out the state epidiomologist was informed that he has to follow up on the contacts. The state has to do contact tracing around the patient. It is the state responsibility to do that contact tracing and we hope they do it,” he said.