The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA has sparked outrage online following its request to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC about the identity of the six sailors which the Centre said tested positive to COVID-19 on Thursday evening.
The NCDC had confirmed 14 new cases of the virus as the total number of confirmed cases in the country reached 65 on Thursday evening.
The 14 new cases were confirmed from Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory and Bauchi State.
“As at 7:35p.m, March 26, there are 65 confirmed cases, three discharged and one death of COVID19 pandemic in the country,” the Centre said.
NCDC said that of the 14 cases, six were detected on a vessel, while three were returning travellers into Nigeria and one was a close contact of a previously confirmed case.
But it seemed the NPA which is in charge of the ports was not convinced about the claim that sailors were among the latest exporters of the virus to the country as it questioned the claim of the NCDC in a tweet at the Centre on its Twitter handle, @nigerianports.
“Hello @NCDCgov In respect to the 6 new cases that “were detected on a vessel” in Lagos, the Authority in collaboration with Port Health has not recorded any confirmed cases to date.” the Ports Authority said.
“To enable verification and proper record keeping, kindly avail us with specific details on the name of the Vessel the passengers were on board, and the Terminal or Jetty where they berthed,” it added in the late night tweet.
The NCDC has not replied to the tweet, at least, on its twitter timeline as at the time of writing this story.
But many Nigerians were not amused that NPA decided to ask such questions online when the Authority could have got in touch with NCDC directly, especially since both organisations are government agencies. Some Nigerians also said the NPA has not living up to expectations in terms of helping to keep coronavirus out of Nigeria.