Coronavirus: Our mission to help Kogi state failed – Health minister laments
The federal government said its effort to help Kogi ascertain its coronavirus status failed because Governor Yahaya Bello-led government did not receive the health officials sent to the state with open arms.
Speaking during the presidential task force briefing on Covid-19 on Friday, May 8, Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, lamented the hostile reception melted at officials of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) sent to the state.
Linking the development to “some differences,” the minister added that the NCDC failed to achieve its mission in Kogi, prompting the members of the disease control agency to return to Abuja.
“We tried to send a team of the Ministry of Health and the NCDC into Kogi yesterday but there were some differences there to processes,” Ehanire said. “This will mean that we need to re-engage the state governor again and work with him and his team to create the conditions to which the Ministry of Health and the NCDC can complete their job.”
Kogi is one of the two states in the country that have not reported any case of coronavirus, and there is a palpable fear the authorities in the state are trying to cover up the presence of the virus which NCDC earlier predicted will spread across all states.
Kogi government had previously claimed that the state was under pressure to declare the presence of coronavirus as the pandemic spreads across states of the federation.
This was contained in a statement by Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi state commissioner of information and communication, who gave an update on a female expatriate rumoured to have carried coronavirus pandemic.
Officials of the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) who were later sent to Kogi left the state to avoid being sent on isolation and subjected to COVID-19 test.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that Kogi state was thrown into anxiety following the alleged death of four patients at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja who were speculated to have died of coronavirus.
An investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, had through a series of tweets alleged a cover-up in coronavirus death in Kogi.