Covid-19: Testing is a challenge in Kogi State, says NMA Chairman


Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

The end to the controversy sorounding the Covid-19 status of kogi State does not seems to be in sight. Dr. Kabir Zubair, Chairman, of the Nigerian Medical Association in the State has disclosed that although no confirmed case has been recorded in the State, a number of suspected cases of the disease have been attended to at the Federal Medical Center Lokoja. He however noted that testing of the suspected cases remains a major challenge in the State.

He noted that members of Association of Resident Doctors, (ARD) are among the first to attend to these patients and as such they might be exposed to the highly contagious COVID-19. Dr Zubair stated this on Thursday while responding to newsmen enquiry on his reaction to the report of the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC that only one testing sample have been sent in for checking by the state which returned negative.

He said that the challenge of not testing enough had led to agitation from members of the Association of Resident Doctors, (ARD) as they are among the first to attend to suspected cases, a number of which have been received at the Federal Medical centre, Lokoja in recent times.

“Although, no confirmed case have been reported in Kogi State, till date, but a number of suspected cases have been attended to at FMC Lokoja and members of ARD are among the first to attend to these patients and as such they might be exposed to the highly contagious COVID-19.” Kabir stated

The chairman said that “ARD is an affiliate of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and they are among the most exposed health care workers to patients with suspected COVID-19 in the hospital settings.

”The NMA is aware that they have become agitated and apprehensive in the last few months due community spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria. He said that F M C Lokoja is the only functional tertiary health institutions in Kogi State and as such, the institution attends to a wide range of patients and the ever present danger of being exposed to patients with COVID-19 is major source of worry.

“As a clinician, standard practice demands that the moment you have clinical suspicion of an infectious diseases, the ideal thing is to carryout laboratory confirmation. ” He noted.

According to him,”COVID-19 is a highly contagious infectious disease responsible for the ongoing global pandemic. In Nigeria, new cases are reported daily and community spread is accelerating. This is the reason why members of ARD are agitated as testing for COVID-19 has remained a challenge in the state.”