The Kogi state government says there are attempts to declare fake COVID-19 cases in the state.
The disease which has killed 93 persons in the country has spread to 34 states and the federal capital territory.
Kogi and Cross River are the two states yet to confirm a single case of the disease.
In a statement on Tuesday, Kingsley Fanwo, the state’s commissioner for information and communication, said there are attempts to impose fake cases on the state.
Using the instance of an expatriate who suspected that she had symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, the commissioner said such cases are not in line with criteria set by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for actual or suspected cases.
He said the case was considered suspicious, adding that “there are attempts to import the disease or declare fictitious cases in Kogi”.
“The expatriate, an adult female, sent message to the Kogi State COVID-19 Squadron Committee, expressing fears that she was exhibiting symptoms similar to those of COVID-19,” the statement read.
“Immediately the message was received, the Incident Manager who is also the Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Haruna, led a team of medical experts to assess the situation with a bid to ascertaining if the alleged symptoms fit into the criteria set by the National Centre for Disease Control for CoviD-19 testing.
“Upon arrival at the residence of the expatriate, she narrated to the team in an interview captured on video how the symptoms she earlier communicated in her phone call had disappeared.
“The Incident Officer still went ahead to take her temperature using the recommended infrared thermometer and her temperature was at a healthy 36.8°C.
“The temperature readings fell totally within normal range and she did not exhibit any of the other symptoms which by the latest NCDC guidelines ought to have paired her nonexistent fever to necessitate further tests for COVID-19.
“Curiously, the said individual still insisted that her case be escalated to the NCDC for CoviD-19 testing.
“The Kogi State Government is genuinely suspicious of the motive behind her insistence, especially as we strongly suspect there are attempts to import the disease or declare fictitious cases in Kogi State.
“In view of the fact that Kogi State is one of only two states still CoviD-19 free in Nigeria and having regard to recent pressures from some interesting quarters for Kogi State to find and declare cases of the disease, we are wary of an unholy conspiracy to declare COVID-19 in all states of the federation.”
The commissioner said the state government “will never conceal any real case of the novel coronavirus disease if it occurs in the state”.
He added that the state is following the recommended NCDC guidelines “to vehemently resist all attempts to manufacture false figures or cases of COVID-19”.
Fanwo assured residents of the state that the government is doing its duty to safeguard them from all threats to their health and will continue to safeguard them from all diseases, including COVID-19, Lassa Fever and other ailments.
As of Monday evening, Nigeria recorded 2,802 confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of which 417 patients have been discharged.
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