The Kogi State Government has rejected the positive COVID-19 results recorded for the state by the NCDC, saying the state is COVID-19 free.
A statement issued by the state Commissioner for Health , Saka Haruna Audu, said the state government has developed full testing capacity and conducted hundreds of tests which have come back negative.
The government position is in contrast to that of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The agency said two people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state.
But 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.
“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,” Audu said.
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 added.
However, the Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, 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.
”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, ” Fanwo said.
There was a controversy after the first visit of NCDC officials to the state, with the state governor, Yahaya Bello, ordering the officials to leave the state or be quarantined for 14 days.
The agency said Kogi State had only conducted one test, but the state claimed it had done 111 tests that turned out negative.