Two persons have died after showing symptoms of COVID-19 in Kogi while one fled, a report has said.
The Kogi State Government had released a statement on Wednesday to debunk the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) report saying it recorded two case of COVID-19.
Saka Haruna Audu, the state’s Commissioner for Health, said the state government has developed “full testing capacity” and “conducted hundreds of tests” which have come back negative. He said the state will not entertain any fictitious COVID-19 claims.
However, in a report by TheCable, medical doctors, who speaking under the condition of anonymity, said two patients had exhibited symptoms of the disease while another fled after showing similar symptoms.
It said residents of the state live freely and many believe the pandemic is a scam.
“Because we are not having these tests, you cannot for sure say this is a case (of coronavirus). That is where the dilemma comes for us,” TheCable quoted the doctor to have said.
“If somebody comes and says they are having fever, cough and the person is restless and having difficulty in breathing, as far as we are in this COVID era, you must have a high index of suspicion because you don’t know who that person has come in contact with.
“Some (patients who reported symptoms related to those of the virus) were treated and got better and were discharged. They are treated based on the symptoms they are presenting. We have an instance where somebody absconded; where the person went, nobody knows.
“There are some instances where people died, maybe two; they came into the hospital and after a short while, they died. But if it is a normal setting and there is no COVID, it is not unusual that somebody comes to the hospital with severe symptoms and after a while, the person dies.”
A visit to FAREC Clinic, Lokoja, the state capital, which the government listed as an isolation centre, showed the place is empty and not fit to keep patients.
Another doctor doctors in the state are afraid of contracting the virus as testing is not being done, making it difficult to identify carriers.
Kabir Zubari, Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the state, said doctors in the state have been advised to use their personal protective equipment when attending to patients.
“We have advised doctors to make sure you use your PPEs and attend to patients. Once you can’t beat the authorities, you have to look for a way out,” Zubari told TheCable.
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“What we have done is to look for an easy way out. The state has bought rapid diagnostic test kits. It will make it easier instead of sending samples. With that, we can manage. It is still better than nothing. We have to make do with what is available.”