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‘We are under pressure to report coronavirus cases’–Kogi state govt

Published By Kenneth nwakauba | In News | May 9, 2020

The north central state says it will not bow to pressure to report a case of the contagious respiratory ailment.

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello [Daily Nigerian]

The Commissioner for Health in Kogi state, Dr. Saka Haruna Audu, says the Governor Yahaya Bello administration is under immense pressure to announce novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

Kogi in central Nigeria and Cross River in the south of the country, are the only states yet to report COVID-19 cases in Nigeria’s 36-state structure.

Reports have been rife this week that Governor Bello chased away staff of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) who had visited his state to assess the state’s preparedness, facilities and medical procedures.

Bello was reported to have ordered the medical professionals to be isolated for 14 days–the period it takes for COVID-19 to incubate in most patients before symptoms become visible.

In a statement sent to Pulse, health commissioner Audu said “our Isolation centers are open for inspection from appropriate quarters and the insinuation by the said report needs not be given any attention.

READ ALSO: Spike in deaths in North Nigeria prompts virus probe

“The lame notion that all the states surrounding Kogi already have COVID-19 will not cause us to bat an eyelid, but rather increase us in conviction that if some other states gave in to pressure, we wouldn’t . We will continue to take samples from appropriate patients and members of the public in line with the laid down principles.”

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello (right) with his Deputy, Edward Onoja [Western Point Nigeria]
Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello (right) with his Deputy, Edward Onoja [Western Point Nigeria]

The commissioner added that Kogi is prepared to deal with COVID-19 just like it dealt with Lassa fever by reporting cases to the relevant authorities promptly.

“Kogi state had activated a rapid response team since 2017 long before any epidemic was suspected to occur. Our success in investigating and curtailing alleged strange deaths in Okoloke Yagba west L.G.A in Kogi state in 2017 was well commended and applauded by national and international stakeholders.

“The so called strange disease which was later confirmed to be Yellow Fever was appropriately annihilated with collaboration from our ever dependable health development partners.

“So much fake news has been peddled about Kogi state and we are no strangers to it. Recently it was said that 7 billion Naira was expended in setting up a marquee isolation center, an amount that is greater than the state’s monthly allocation. How ridiculous!

President Muhammadu Buhari receiving update from NCDC  boss Ihekweazu (Right)(Presidency)
President Muhammadu Buhari receiving update from NCDC boss Ihekweazu (Right)(Presidency)

“Kogi state will not give in to pressure to announce fictitious cases of COVID-19. We will only announce a real case of confirmed COVID-19 when it exists, and we advise our people to strictly follow the state government’s guidelines in the prevention of the disease, for as it stands, Kogi state is officially COVID-19 free!”

Nigeria has reported 3,912 COVID-19 cases in 34 states of the federation and the capital city of Abuja. There have been 679 recoveries and 117 deaths, as of May 8, 2020.

Lagos is the epicenter of the outbreak in Nigeria with 1,667 reported cases and 448 recoveries.

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