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HomeHealthCoronavirus UpdatesNMA wants Gov Bello probed over Kogi coronavirus-free status claim after showing...

NMA wants Gov Bello probed over Kogi coronavirus-free status claim after showing preparedness

…and Cross Rivers State too

The state commissioner for health, Dr Saka Haruna Audu, also recently said that “We reiterate our earlier resolve not to be pressured to announce a case of Covid-19 where we have none, irrespective of Media propaganda from any quarters.”

By Omo Arowomole

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has urged the Federal Government to investigate the coronavirus-free status claim by Kogi State Government.

Governor Yahaya Bello had insisted that the state is yet to record its first index case of the deadly virus that has put the entire globe on its knee since January.

Kogi State Isolation Centre, Lokoja

While explaining his stand in the method his administration adopted in fighting the pandemic, Governor Bello who said that the state is not in defiance to the scourge of the coronavirus also released pictures of “one of the isolation centres in Lokoja” to support claims of the level of preparedness in the state.

The state commissioner for health, Dr Saka Haruna Audu, also recently said that “We reiterate our earlier resolve not to be pressured to announce a case of Covid-19 where we have none, irrespective of Media propaganda from any quarters.”

But the NMA, in a statement, maintained that the Federal Government must, through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) probe Kogi and Cross Rivers states on their claims of no recorded case of COVID-19 in both states.

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State

The doctors said an investigation into the status and management response to the coronavirus by the governments of the two states is in the interest of safeguarding Nigeria’s public health, and to recommend appropriate remedial intervention if necessary, to President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Both states are the only two yet to confirm any case of the virus, a record widely disputed by health authorities and federal officials who believe governments in Kogi and Cross Rivers are discouraging tests for people with symptoms of COVID-19.

Despite being surrounded by states with confirmed cases of the virus, the government in Kogi has at least once reportedly scuttled efforts by officials of Nigeria Centre for Disease Contol (NCDC) to coordinate COVID-19 testing, alleging that there is a plot by unnamed persons to ensure Kogi records cases of the virus.

On Thursday, a delegation comprising officials of NCDC and the Department of Hospital Services of the Federal Ministry of Health had to flee the state for fear of being quarantined by the Kogi State Government.

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The delegation, which set out on the mission to ascertain the claim by the state to be COVID-19 free and to boost its testing capacity, was reportedly not received with open arms, a development that further pitted state authorities against federal officials.

The NMA, in a statement on Sunday, said the development has made it difficult for the NCDC to discharge its duties in the state.

The association said it vehemently condemned the stance of the governments of Kogi and Cross River States to NCDC’s advisory.

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