The Kogi state government has rejected the two COVID-19 positive cases announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
In its daily report of new cases on Wednesday, the NCDC said Kogi had recorded its first two cases.
Only Kogi state and Cross River were previously the only states not to have recorded any case of the virus.
However, Kogi state Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, described the NCDC reporting process as fraudulent, during his appearance on Channels TV Programme, ‘Politics Today’ on Thursday.
In his words: “We are completely rejecting such declarations because they do not even conform to the protocols set by the NCDC itself.
“When you look at the history of the cases they declared, the patient was admitted at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja for symptoms that were far from COVID-19 symptoms. But they were not attended to there and the next thing was to bring them to the National Hospital in Abuja. And within a few hours, they were tested, and under 24 hours, the man was declared COVID-19 positive.
“It is fraudulent as far we are concerned and we are rejecting them in its entirety.”
Meanwhile, the NCDC had earlier maintained that due process was followed in recording the Kogi cases.
At the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Thursday, the Director-General of the NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the Kogi index case was a referral from the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja.
“There is actually no dilemma in the two cases,” he said. “They followed absolutely normal practice.
“A patient that was referred from the Federal Medical Centre to the National Hospital. This is a normal referral pathway when you have a case.
“The physicians in the National Hospital, I don’t have any influence over the work that they do. They suspected COVID-19 based on the clinical symptoms of the patient, asked for a test, and the test came out positive.
“The individual lives in Kogi state. And public health response is based on where you live because that’s where your contacts are.
“So this is not controversial in any way. Standard practice was followed. Once the results came out, the state’s Epidemiologist was informed that he has to do contact-tracing around this patient. It is the state’s responsibility to do that contact-tracing. So we hope they do it. There is nothing actually controversial in any way about this.”
On whether the NCDC was willing to subject its test for validation, Ihekweazu said, “we are a public health organisation, everything we do is open to the Nigerian people.”