Covid-19: Kogi govt. alleges plans to import cases

Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

The war of words between the Kogi State Government and a perceived enemy over Covid-19 pandemic is degenerating. The government has alleged that there are attempts to import the disease or declare fictitious cases in Kogi State.
Commissioner for Information and Communication in the State Kingsley Fanwo made the allegation in a statement.

Narrating the bases for the allegation, Fanwo said the State Covid-19 management Committee received a distress call from a female expatriate in the State who feared she had contracted the disease. He claimed the Committee promptly located her and found that her fears were misplaced.

“The case does not fit into the spectrum of criteria set by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for actual or suspected CoviD-19 cases requiring testing.” The Committee determined, after reading her temperature.

He said ‘curiously’ however, the adult, female expatriate still insisted on sending her samples to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC ‘for Covid-19 testing.’ It is not clear wether the Committee granted her request.

“The Kogi State Government is genuinely suspicious of the motive behind her insistence, especially as we strongly suspect there are attempts to import the disease or declare fictitious cases in Kogi State.

“In view of the fact that Kogi State is one of only two states still CoviD-19 free in Nigeria and having regard to recent pressures from some interesting quarters for Kogi State to find and declare cases of the disease, we are wary of an unholy conspiracy to declare COVID-19 in all states of the federation.

The government vowed to resist the move. “It is therefore pertinent to note that while the Kogi State Government will never conceal any real case of the novel coronavirus disease if it occurs in the state, she will adhere strictly to NCDC guidelines to vehemently resist all attempts to manufacture false figures or cases of COVID-19 in Kogi State.

“The great people of Kogi State have shown admirable resilience and a strong sense of responsibility since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out and we urge them to continue observing the recommended personal, environmental and respiratory hygiene protocols as recommended by both international and national regulatory authorities.

“We assure all Kogites that His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello and his team take seriously indeed the duty to safeguard them from all threats to their health and will continue to safeguard them from all diseases, including COVID-19, Lassa Fever and other ailments.

It will be recalled that the Director General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu had last week insinuated that States which had not recorded any case of virus were either hiding suspects or not following the protocols. Kogi State government responded it would not manufacture cases and suggesting some political undertones to the disease outbreak.