Kogi state government has commenced contact tracing to identify and test all those came in contact with the highly disputed COVID-19 index case in the state. In a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Haruna Saka, in Lokoja on Saturday, the state government said its team, alongside World Health Organization (WHO) officials tested those who had contact with the index case and they all came back negative. Saka, however, said the traced persons will be retested in the next fourteen days. The state government insisted that Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded fictitious cases of Covid-19 for Kogi state.
“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 hypertensive and 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. “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. 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. “On reaching FMC on the 24th of May 2020, FMC claimed the patient was referred to them on account of 1 week history of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing with high suspicion of Covid-19, a claim the referring Doctor has vehemently refuted. READ NNS Lugard Commissions Navy Quarters in Kogi “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. “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. “On reaching Abuja, a Covid-19 test was hurriedly conducted and returned positive within 24hours! Ridiculous. “It should be mentioned also that the patient’s relation initially cried out to us to help evacuate them from the National Hospital but on arriving 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, siting 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,” he said. Saka called on Nigerians to start asking NCDC what they stand to gain by manufacturing fictitious claims and attaching them to states.