The Kogi State government has tackled the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) after the health agency expressed worry over the state which shares a common boundary with Abuja, not recording any Coronavirus case.
Director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu had stated that Coronavirus will get to every state in Nigeria as he pointed out that some states are yet to send in enough samples for tests. He averred that some states which are yet to record cases of COVID-19 are either negligent in testing and tracing, or actively hiding the disease within their territories.
However Kogi state’s commissioner for information, Kingsley Fanwo countered the NCDC DG’s comment which he described as “unfair and an attempt to shame the state government”.
Fanwo maintained that the state cannot declare a Coronavirus case when none exists. He also disclosed that a self-assessment app the Kogi state government created, has been effective in checking for COVID-19 cases in the state.
The statement reads;
“The governor of Kogi state does not believe that increasing the burden on the overwhelmed NCDC and the other agencies cum resources labouring in the frontlines of our response to this deadly pandemic, when neither case nor cause for such has genuinely risen in the state, is helping the country in any way.
“Kogi state has religiously followed all the NCDC and World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 advisories, both for identifying cases and preventing spread.
“We have also adhered strictly to the various guidelines from, and directives of, the federal government, customised to improve both efficiency and efficacy within the peculiarities of our own circumstances.
“While we are not surprised that they have worked for us so far in keeping our state COVID-19 free, we do find it disconcerting that the lead agency in the fight is possibly expressing doubt in their efficacy while simultaneously denouncing us for following her own guidelines.
“In fact, we built our self-assessment app hosted at kogicovid19.gov.ng around the NCDC’s checklist for ‘suspected and high risk’ cases and as at last week it has been visited nearly 200,000 times with over 14,000 completed self-assessments out of which only about 60 presented cause for further investigation which then failed to meet the COVID-19 spectrum.
“We sincerely hope the NCDC and Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu will quickly come out to repudiate or retract those dangerous comments (whichever is applicable) in order to minimise damage to the mutuality of trust and cooperation which we need to continue working together through this pandemic.”
The commissioner for information added that not every state in Nigeria must have a Coronavirus case as not all provinces in China which was the epicenter of the disease for some time, had Coronavirus cases.