After about two weeks of relative calm, the controversy over the Coronavirus disease status of Kogi State has resurfaced and become more complex. While there are claims of the infection in the State, the Governor Yahaya Bello led administration has lived in denial, insisting the State does not harbours any trace of the virus.
One Mr. Realone Okpanachi, a middle aged man has disclosed that his wife, three year old daughter and himself have contracted the disease in the state. He took to his Facebook account to make the disclosure.
“My wife, three year old daughter and I tested positive for coronavirus on friday We have been isolated at Idu Isolation Centre with our treatment underway.
“I started having symptoms such as fever, headache and lost of taste and smell from Ogugu, Olamaboro local government council of Kogi State.
“The death of my father in-law forced me to travel to Ogugu recently where all the guidelines put in place by NCDC were not observed. I call on NCDC to move to Ogugu, Olamaboro L.G.A immediately with a view to carrying out comprehensive test in the community and arrest the community transmission going on there.
Okpanachi advanced other reasons for his infection. “The rate of deaths ascribed to brief illness in the community in partitcular and Kogi State in general has assumed alarming proportion. I urge anyone having symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, difficulty in breathing to go for testing without delay.
He said he and family are strong and in good condition. “By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will defeat the virus and be back home in few days time. Thank you.
However in a swift reaction, the Chairman, Kogi Squadron Committee on COVID19, Chief Edward Onoja, himself a native of the LGA, in a press statement issued on Saturday said extensive findings by the team who contacted the community leaders, health practitioners and natives of the said location highlighted by the alarmist shows that he has planted a false information intended to cause panic. The statement reads
“The attention of The Kogi State Squadron Committee on Coronavirus, known as COVID19 has been sought by an alarmist known as Realone Okpanachi, who took to his Facebook wall to declare his COVID19 status as positive, including his wife and child after traveling to Ogugu, Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State for a burial some weeks ago from Abuja, the epicenter of the virus in Northern Nigeria.
“He alleged community transmission of the virus, citing deaths from many brief illnesses. Extensive findings from our team who contacted community leaders, health practitioners and natives of the said location highlighted by the alarmist shows that he has planted a false information intended to cause panic.
“No deaths have been recorded as alleged from symptoms of COVID19. We are however curious as to how Mr. Rilwan Okpanachi was able to beat the interstate lockdown between Abuja and Kogi State to travel all the way from the epicenter of the virus into Ogugu.
“As a citizen, it is also an act of irresponsibility and violation of the COVID19 guidelines that prohibits interstate travels as Nigeria battles with the virus which Kogi State is yet to record any case from the pandemic so far.
“We assure our citizens that no community transmission is ongoing at Ogugu at the moment, neither does anyone attest to the position of Mr Okpanachi. Rather, we are suspicious of his motive for traveling with the virus from Abuja which is the epicenter in North Central Nigeria to Kogi state which is yet to record any case.
Onoja advised the general members of the public to go about their normal business activities “as Kogi is free from any case of the virus so far.