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Kogi Commissioner for Health Accuses FMC of Conniving With NCDC to Concoct COVID-19 Cases

More revelations and even more confusion, are emerging from the disclosure of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) about two index cases in Kogi State, as the family of the supposed index cases, through one Tai Ejibunu (Obatebise of Owe) clarifies that it is only the old man that tested positive but the son returned negative, contradicting the claim by NCDC that both tested positive; while the Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Haruna Audu, accuses the Management of the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja, of conniving with the staff of NCDC to concoct cases and hurriedly declaring the two persons positive within a day, adding that the Kogi State team has tested the immediate family of the cases and every single one of them returned negative.

The Commissioner, in a press statement yesterday, said, “Nigerians are in the know of the stand off between Kogi State and NCDC that has been on for a while now, which is not unconnected to our stance to resist the ascription of fictitious confirmed cases of Covid-19 to our Dear State to suit a preformed narrative we believe is the agenda of NCDC, which is to claim every State in Nigeria has Covid-19. In the heat of this stand off, we woke up one morning to hear that NCDC has recorded two cases of Covid-19 for Kogi State . Your suspicion will be as good as ours hence we set out to investigate the claim and here are our findings.

1. That NCDC claims a 62 year old man and his son from Kabba LGA of Kogi State tested positive to Covid-19. According to the son, his father, who is a hypertensive/diabetic had attended a burial ceremony where he was stung by bees. He then developed facial problems from the sting and was taken to the Hospital. The facial swellings subsided but the body weakness persisted where eventually the managing Doctor discovered he had High Blood Sugar, which the Doctor continued to manage.

2. The Doctor confirmed that there was no time the patient presented with fever, cough or difficulty in breathing. The only complaint was that of general body weakness.

3. The Doctor had no reason to refer the patient to FMC Lokoja except on the insistence of the patient because they felt he was not getting better.

4. On reaching FMC on the 24th of May 2020, FMC claimed the patient was referred to them on account of 1week history of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing with high suspicion of Covid-19, a claim the referring Doctor has vehemently refuted.

5. The ideal thing to do, if there are no hidden agenda, is for the State’s Covid-19 management 
team to be invited to pick up the patient to the the State’s holding area for testing and onward management. 6. According to Management of FMC Lokoja, the patient declined the intervention of the state case management team and was said to have left for Abuja for further treatment by 6am the following morning. However the letter the Kogi State Epidemiologist eventually received from NCDC informing the State of the fictitious claim showed that the patient was referred to Abuja from FMC using FMC’s ambulance.

7. On reaching Abuja, a Covid-19 test was hurriedly conducted and returned positive within 24hours! Ridiculous right?

OUR WORRIES:

One needs not dig deeper to see the handwritting clearly written on the wall at how desperate NCDC is to nail Kogi State with a Covid-19 case and there is no telling how low they are willing to stoop to do so.

They claim the patient was positive but hasn’t been taken to an isolation centre. As at this moment he is still in the National Hospital. His son who was also purported to be positive was asked to go home! He remained with his father in the hospital running errands going even as far as Suleja, in Niger State. Who are we fooling?

It should be mentioned also that the patient’s relations initially cried out to us to help evacuate them from the National Hospital but on ariving there to evacuate them, and conduct a confirmatory test using a private molecular laboratory as well as Kogi State Rapid test kits, the patient eventually denied us the opportunity to get it done, citing fear of receiving punishment from the Federal Government (NCDC). Being able to carry out this independent verification will have put to rest this matter once and for all.

We also wish to categorically state that though NCDC has consistently refused to support Kogi State in her fight against Covid-19, WHO had been part of our team till date. Though NCDC refused to follow their own protocols on visiting the State, WHO staff who travelled out of our State and returned have always obeyed the rule of self isolation for 14 days.

Despite the fact that we do not accept the fictitious cases, we have gone ahead to do contact tracing to identify all those who came in contact with them, tested them and they all came back negative. They will be retested in the next 14 days post first contact.

The normal NCDC protocol is to collect samples through the State Ministries of Health where an Epid. form (Epidemiological form) will be filled by the State epidemiologist and a sample number called an epid number attached to accompany the sample to the laboratory for onward testing. In this case, who filled the form? Where is the sample’s Epidemiological Number? Is it the FCT state epidemologist that filled the form and took samples at the same time? If that is the case then they should have recorded the cases for FCT and not bother us with their ruse.

Nigerians need to start asking NCDC what they stand to gain by manufacturing fictitious claims and attaching them to States and how eager they are to announce confirmed cases, a situation that has had them coming out to apologise publicly.

We will let the public be the Judge having laid down all these facts. We as a State have nothing to hide, but we continue to insist that we will not be a part of any fictitious scheme by a Federal body upon whom Nigerians put so much trust.
This will also serve as our clarification for those who have been asking.

We have both video and audio evidences for all claims mentioned here, however for good reasons we are holding on to them till it becomes a necessity to share them to the public.”

This press statement has raised a lot of questions begging for answers, and Nigerians are wondering if the NCDC is being insincere in the figures it churns out on daily basis.

Senator Dino Melaye, who lost to Senator Smart Adéyẹmí of APC in last year’s senatorial elections rerun, as Switch Nigeria reported yesterday had claimed that the two cases are true, disclosing that he knows the old man. But the question is, was he just playing the partisan politics game, or stating the honest truth?

Could it be true that the two cases reported for Kogi were concocted? If so, to what end exactly? Otherwise, if they are true, why is the government of Yahaya Bello sternly against the activities of NCDC in Kogi State? How come the family says only one person was positive but NCDC reported two cases for father and son?

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