Kogi State government says it’s not aware of existence of any COVID-19 case at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja as claimed.
In a statement on Thursday in Lokoja, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Haruna said as a member of the governing board of FMC Lokoja, and also the incident manager for Covid-19 in the State, he has yet to be informed of any claimed cases.
“There is also a representative of FMC Lokoja in the State’s Squadron against Covid-19 / Lassa fever and never for once was any such case raised in our meetings,” he noted.
The Commissioner’s clarification was coming on the heels of a report which claimed that four patients with COVID-19 symptoms have died the in centre within the last one week.
He insisted that certain elements are needlessly politicising the situation for pecuniary motive, saying the state would not give in to pressure to announce fictitious cases of COVID-19 where there’s none.
“First and foremost, It is imperative that the public realise that there is no State Government that can deliberately put her people in harms way for whatever political reason, and the current administration has been scored high by local and international observers on health. We have and will continue to put the health of our people as first priority.
“We are not new to public health emergencies even if the COVID-19 pandemic is unarguably the most trying the world has ever witnessed. We have been in an annual fight against Lassa fever as the State is located in the Lassa fever belt, recording several cases with regrettable loses. We were first to establish a Biosafety Laboratory For Lassa fever in Nigeria and this year alone we have confirmed 30 cases of Lassa Fever that was duly announced. To accuse the state of a cover up of Covid-19 cases is mischievous and at best politically inclined,” he said.
According to him, “Since the beginning of this pandemic the state has held series of meetings with FMC Lokoja, and in this week alone there have been about 4 of such meetings. Such claims were never raised by the management of FMC. One then wonders the source and intent of the mischievous report. We are more inclined to believe that such fictitious claims being bandied about on the media are just meant to pressure the State into playing to the gallery of a narrative that ensures all States of Nigeria have COVID-19.
“We reiterate our earlier resolve not to be pressured to announce a case of Covid-19 where we have none, irrespective of Media propaganda from any quarters. We also remain resolute that getting a Covid-19 test result will not be a criterion for Kogites to access quality health care,” he added.
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