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Kogi Govt says an app has been effective in checking for COVID-19 cases, slams NCDC

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The Kogi state government says its self-assessment app has been effective in checking for COVID-19 cases in the state. 

Kogi, Yobe and Cross River are the three states yet to record any case of COVID-19.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said the states had not sent enough samples for tests. 

The NCDC chief also said the virus would spread to all the states in the country. 

But Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi’s commissioner for information, in a statement on Tuesday, said the state considers Ihekweazu’s comment as unfair and an attempt to shame it. 

“The governor of Kogi state does not believe that increasing the burden on the overwhelmed NCDC and the other agencies cum resources labouring in the frontlines of our response to this deadly pandemic, when neither case nor cause for such has genuinely risen in the state, is helping the country in any way,” the statement read.  

“Kogi state has religiously followed all the NCDC and World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 advisories, both for identifying cases and preventing spread. 

“We have also adhered strictly to the various guidelines from, and directives of, the federal government, customised to improve both efficiency and efficacy within the peculiarities of our own circumstances. 

“While we are not surprised that they have worked for us so far in keeping our state COVID-19 free, we do find it disconcerting that the lead agency in the fight is possibly expressing doubt in their efficacy while simultaneously denouncing us for following her own guidelines. 

“In fact, we built our self-assessment app hosted at kogicovid19.gov.ng around the NCDC’s checklist for ‘suspected and high risk’ cases and as at last week it has been visited nearly 200,000 times with over 14,000 completed self-assessments out of which only about 60 presented cause for further investigation which then failed to meet the COVID-19 spectrum.”  

The state said, as of Tuesday, it has no confirmed case of COVID-19 or any case to the knowledge of its ”vigilant medical structures”. 

It said not every state in Nigeria must record cases of COVID-19, considering that not even China, the origin and for a while the epicentre of the outbreak, had cases of the disease in every province. 

The state said it is not hiding any COVID-19 case as being speculated. 

“We sincerely hope the NCDC and Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu will quickly come out to repudiate or retract those dangerous comments (whichever is applicable) in order to minimise damage to the mutuality of trust and cooperation which we need to continue working together through this pandemic.” it added.

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