*…urges Bello to show evidence that Kogi is free of coronavirus
*We stand by our results, announcement thereof — NCDC boss
By Chioma Obinna
The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, on Thursday, urged the Federal Government to call Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to order over his claims that there were no cases of COVID-19 in the state.
NMA also challenged Kogi State Government to show Nigerians evidence that the state was actually free from COVID-19, rather than downgrading the results released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, which listed the state among those with confirmed cases.
Recall that Kogi State government had earlier reacted to the publication by NCDC, that two positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the state on May 27.
A statement by the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, described it as a “fallacy,” insisting that Kogi was free from COVID-19.
According to the statement, “we have also continued to insist that we will not be a party to any fictitious COVID-19 claims, which is why we do not recognise any COVID-19 test conducted by any Kogite outside the boundaries of the state, except those initiated by us.
“Any attempt to force us to announce a case of COVID-19 will be vehemently rejected.”
Tests in Kogi
It could be recalled that Vanguard had, on Wednesday, reported the alarm raised by medical doctors in the state over lack of laboratory tests for COVID-19 in the state.
However, in a chat with Vanguard, the President of NMA, Dr. Francis Faduyile said: “The state government should show its own evidence. The people that did the laboratory tests have shown theirs.
“It is expected that the state government should give Nigerians evidence that they have tested hundreds of people and could not find a case of coronavirus.”
Faduyile, who warned that the pandemic was not politics, said: “This problem has nothing to do with politics, because it is science. So it is not about what the state accepts or what they do not accept.
“I call on the Federal Government to call Governor Yahaya Bello to order. We have been talking about this and asking the governor for his understanding.
“We don’t live in a world which one man rules. We live in a world where we are governed by scientific evidence. There is something we call reproducibility. If he is not convinced, let us reproduce it again. But not on the state government’s terms. Let us take the samples and do it again.
“We want the Federal Government to ensure that the right thing is done.”
He appealed to medical doctors and other health workers in to continue to follow the normal protocol of seeing patients and treating patients.
NCDC on COVID-19 in Kogi
Meanwhile, when Vanguard contacted the Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, over claims of the Kogi State government, he defended the agency’s findings.
“We stand by our results and the announcements thereof,” he told Vanguard.
It could be recalled that Kogi State government and NCDC have continued to disagree over the status of the state as regards to COVID-19.
Up till the time NCDC released its daily results on COPVID-19, Kogi state government had denied having a case of coronavirus.
With Kogi State joining the list of states with COVID-19, only Cross River State is yet to record a case of the virus in Nigeria.
As May 27, Nigeria now has 8,733 confirmed cases in 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.