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Exposed: How Kogi State Government Has Been Covering-Up COVID-19 Cases

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While Nigerians have been made to believe that Kogi State is yet to record any case of the deadly Conoravirus aka COVID-19, investigations have revealed that the state has been covering up cases that point to the fact that some persons have contracted the disease in the state.

One of the cases reportedly occurred last week Saturday, when a patient was said to have died at the Federal Medica! Centre (FMC), Lokoja, Kogi, after exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, while his samples weren’t taken.

We gathered that this was the 4th of such death at the FMC last week alone, and that not once was the patients’ samples taken, dead or alive.

A similar cover-up reportedly occurred on March 22, the first time this scenario occurred.

“A patient who came into Kogi from Lagos required a caesarian operation and the patient exhibited COVID-19 symptoms, prompting the hospital to request for her to be tested, but this was turned down.

“The patient was isolated for some time, surgery was done and she was discharged without testing.

“Last week, there were some patients in the O&G Ward, who manifested respiratory issues, inability to breathe and other COVID-19 symptoms. Three of them died. They had come from private hospitals — one in Lokoja, another in Okene and the third in Ogudu.

“The first of the trio, Mrs G. I (her initials), a 43-year-old woman who arrived at the hospital on Thursday, had a temp of 38.8°C.

“The other two had temperatures of more than 40°C. In each case, no sample was taken before or after death,” a source said.

It was gathered that on the final day of the week, a patient admitted to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Ward with a temp of 40.3°C was transferred to the male medical ward.

The patient, report said, spent three hours in the ward and then died.

One more patient was said to have exhibited potential COVID-19 symptoms on Sunday, but moves for sample collection were futile; by Monday the patient was said to have died.

“I have been told there are more suspected cases, but these were the ones I personally tracked.

“Ideally, the FMC ought to notify the Ministry of Health of the need for sample collection if it suspects a case, but the ministry needs to secure the authorisation of the Incident Manager, that is the Commissioner for Health, who directly relates with the NCDC.

“If the Commissioner says no, end of request! Meanwhile, state hospitals are not even in a position to call the health ministry.

“I understand that the instruction from Governor Yahaya Bello of the state is that there should be no testing. I know the question you want to ask and I’ll answer it: why would the state government want to hide COVID-19 cases? There may be many reasons but I’m sure of three, so far,” said the source.

It was revealed that none of the three isolation centres — at SDG/FAREC Clinic, the Kogi State Diagnostics Centre & the Maimuna and Usman Yahaya Foundation Hospital — is ready for use, and that patient can’t be taken into any of them.

“The only ready space is at Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, where Lassa Fever cases were once managed.

“And it has only four beds. Not four wards — four beds! All are just building structures, no equipment for the doctors to work with.

“The diagnostics centre is a private facility donated to the state years ago, but the 100-bed structure is an ongoing project that has spanned three governors & doesn’t yet have power supply!

“I understand the state has no money to give the people as lockdown palliatives, should there be the need to restrict their movement. But many in Kogi aren’t asking for palliatives; they just want their salaries, which the government is making moves to halve.

“It is unclear why there is no money as the Bello administration hasn’t executed a single project since its re-election in May 2019 apart from payment of salaries,” so we were told.

It was revealed that despite receiving increased federal allocation of late due to a temporary halt of bailout deductions, the state government was going to pay workers only 50% of their March salaries, but that the union fought back, and that April salaries haven’t been paid due to this ongoing disagreement.

For whatever reason, the state government reportedly believes that the NCDC has politicised COVID-19 cases such that if samples were sent, they will automatically be returned positive.

“It is a reason that defies logic, actually, but it exists all the same.

“Kogi has blatantly REFUSED to test. Medical experts agree that “it is a lie to say the state does not have any COVID case,” but scientifically, no one can put a figure to it.

“The FMC has been warned that if it breaches protocol by sending anyone’s samples to the NCDC it would be shut down on the pretext of exposure to the virus.

“For that reason, the state and hospital officialdom will counter this story with all they have, rather than make amends, but the hope will be that Kogi won’t go the way of Kano before making a U-turn,” so we gathered.

Materials from the twitter handle of Fisayo Soyombo.

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