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NMA to FG: Probe claims of Kogi, Cross River on zero COVID-19 case

NMA to FG: Probe claims of Kogi, Cross River on zero COVID-19 case
May 11
15:14 2020

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has asked the federal government to investigate claims by Kogi and Cross River governments that the states have not recorded any case of COVID-19.

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The NMA asked that the investigation be conducted through the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19.

Kogi and Cross River are the only states yet to confirm a COVID-19 case.

The Kogi government had alleged that there were attempts to declare fake COVID-19 cases in the state.

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A delegation from the NCDC had visited the state on Thursday to assist its testing capacity but Yahaya Bello, the governor, asked the team to go on 14-day isolation or leave the state immediately.

The team, thereafter, returned to Abuja.

In a statement jointly signed by Francis Faduyile and Olumuyiwa P, NMA president and secretary respectively, the association said the NCDC has been unable to perform its duties in some states as a result of threats and prevention of testing and collection samples of suspected COVID-18 cases.

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The doctors said the investigation is in the interest of safeguarding Nigeria’s public health, and also to recommend appropriate remedial intervention (s) if necessary to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The association said it decried the stance of the governments of Kogi and Cross River to NCDC’s advisory.

“The NCDC (Establishment) Act 2018 empowers the NCDC to lead the national response in disease outbreaks and public health emergencies. It is also to coordinate diverse kinds of feedback thereof,” the statement said.

“However, the NCDC has been unable to discharge these functions in some states of the Federation. Apart from threats and in some instances, prevention from collecting and testing samples of suspected cases of COVID-19; the pronouncements of some political leaders constitute outright interference in NCDC’s coordination of case treatment for effectiveness and learning lessons.

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“Kogi and Cross Rivers maintained their COVID-19 free status despite being flagged by NCDC Director-General, Chikwe Ihekweazu, for turning in a very low number of samples for testing.

“While it would be welcome news for a ‘no-positive-case’ status in any state or FCT, every state must ensure that it is following the testing guideline issued by the NCDC.

“That way, no cases are missed, as that would seriously imperil the whole national response to controlling COVID-19 pandemic.

“NMA, therefore, appeals to the Federal Government to direct through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) to investigate the claims of the two state governments in the interest of safeguarding Nigeria’s Public Health, and to recommend appropriate remedial intervention (s) if necessary to Mr President.”

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The association also directed its members not to attend to any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient in the absence of a protective gear.
“Therefore, she has unequivocally advised her members and other healthcare workers in the country to avoid attending to suspected or confirmed cases of COVD-19 if they do not wear the appropriate PPE in the interest of the personnel and their families, and the wider society,” it said.
“The PTF must direct the FMOH and NCDC and other employers of doctors and health workers, to make arrangements for the provision of an adequate supply of PPEs at the point and time of need in the campaign against COVID-19.”

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