From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state, Thursday, ordered the leader of the officials of the National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC), Dr Andrew Noah, who was on a visit to the state to go into isolation at the state quarantine centre for shaking hands with his Protocol Chief, Sunday Ayenibe at the Government House, Lokoja.
The governor gave the order when the visiting NCDC official shook hands with the state Director-General of Protocol, while exchanging microphone after speaking to introduce his team to the audience.
The governor said that the step was to ensure that the laid down procedure of checkmating the scourge by NCDC was strictly followed.
The visiting officials of the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC were sent as a delegation of rapid response team to ascertain the true status of Kogi as a COVID-19 free state.
Earlier, the team led by Dr Noah Andrew had arrived the Lugard House seat of the state government to present a letter titled “Deployment of rapid response squad to help in fighting COVID-19,” said that the mission of the Centre was to provide logistics to all states of the Federation of which Kogi could not be left out.
He said that two members of the team would be left behind to help the state and support efforts of the state government.
“we are here to support the state in shipping swab and samples and ascertain the preparedness of the state in fighting COVID-19.
He urged Government and people to observe social distancing and use face masks at all times as part of the measures to fight the scourge.
Speaking shortly after receiving the letter, governor Bello outlined steps taken so far by the state to fight the covid-19 pandemic.
He said that the state acquired some experience in fighting infectious diseases such as Lassa fever, malaria and that the experience had been brought to bear on fighting COVID-19.
“So far Kogi state has had 100 percent recovery rate of all infectious diseases since 2017 owing to measures put in place by the squadron committee set up to fight the disease.
“In spite of the widespread death the world over, we in Kogi have had no confirmed case even though there are many false alarms, which turned out to be false. We have put all it takes in place to check any eventuality.
“Kogi state is highly experienced in treating infectious diseases because of high Lassa fever incident, that is why it’s able to combat COVID-19.
“We have been able to sensitive our people on all languages spoken in the state. All 239 wards have been sensitised, three modern isolation Centres have been set up, which are currently lying idle.
Meanwhile the leader visiting officials of the National Centre for Disease Control NCDC, Dr Andrew Noah who was orderd to be isolate by the Kogi state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has flee the state to avoid being subjected to COVID-19 test.
This was disclosed late Thursday night by the State Commissioner for Information Kingsley Fanwo in a statement made available to journalists in Lokoja.
Governor Bello had ordered the leader of the NCDC delegation to proceed on isolation for shaking hands with the Director of Protocol, Sunday Ayenibe after taking microphone from him.
The governor had also explained that Dr Andrew had contaveined the rules and regulations of NCDC and so should be tested for COVID-19 since he was coming from the epicenter of the disease.
“It was a drama today at the Kogi State Government House as the officials of the National Center for Disease Control sent to ascertain the COVID-19 status flee the state ” Fanwo stated.
It would be recalled that Kogi is one of the two states that are yet to record a single COVID-19 case in the federation.
The Officials of the NCDC said they were sent to the State to assist the state in responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
The Officials said they were not ready to be tested for COVID-19 and went back to Abuja.
He said that why the NCDC Officials feared being tested was a matter of concern to the Government of Kogi State.
The Commissioner said that NCDC should come hard on its Officials for violating its rules.
“Today, the Governor showed the statesmanship in him once again by appreciating the support of the NCDC and defending the health interests of his people.
“NCDC quarantined the Chinese professionals that came to give them technical support and also took their samples for test. It is a normal practice and protocol set by NCDC.
“So NCDC will have a lot to explain as to why its officials refused to test for COVID-19. How can we be sure of their status? What are their fears? Why did NCDC sent people who are afraid of test to our State? What was their intention?
“The officials that came have done an integrity blow to the works of the NCDC. Is there something they are hiding? It is time NCDC opened up and apologize to the good people of Kogi State.
“How will they encourage people to test when it’s own officials are afraid of test? This is sad”Fanwo observed.