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- Published: 28 May 2020
The Kogi state government has insisted that the state is still COVID-19.
In a statement on Wednesday, Saka Haruna Audu, Kogi health commissioner, said the state government has developed “full testing capacity” and “conducted hundreds of tests” which have come back negative.
This position is contrary to the result announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) which said two people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state.
In the statement, Audu said the state would not be a party “to any fictitious COVID-19 claims”.
“Kogi State till this very moment is Covid-19 free. We have developed full testing capacity and have conducted hundreds of tests so far which have come back negative,” he said.
“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.”
The commissioner asked residents of the state to continue to take all necessary precautions to prevent a spread of the disease.
“We are more than prepared to secure the life of our people and have no interest in playing politics with their health concerns,” he said.
But Kingsley Fanwo, commissioner for information, said the state was evaluating the situation and gathering the facts.
”We cannot comment on the claims for now. We got to know like every other person. So we are evaluating the situation and gathering the facts,” he said.
”When we have all the facts and information, we will communicate our position adequately and appropriately. Public health is a thing of great interest to the administration. Our people should remain calm as we gather the facts.”
There was a controversy after the first visit of NCDC officials to the state. Yahaya Bello, the governor, had ordered officials to leave the state or be quarantined for 14 days.
The centre said Kogi had conducted only one test but, the state claimed it had done 111 tests that turned out negative.