The Nigerian government has classified Kogi as COVID-19 high risk state because of its failure to acknowledge the existence of the disease, report tests or build isolation centres.
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 disclosed this on Monday.
PTF also warned Nigerians to be ware of visiting the state.
“We have states where data is not coming forth. If we don’t test, your data will not be analysed and if your data is not analysed, we won’t know the level of the pandemic in your state,” Mukhtar Muhammad, the National Incident Manager of the PTF said.
“Notable among the states that have not been reporting adequately include Yobe, Jigawa, Zamfara and Kebbi and, of course, Kogi that has not been reporting at all.
“States that are not testing are probably at much more higher risk than the states that are currently known as high burdened states.”
For Kogi, which is not conducting tests at all, Muhammad said it is at the “high risk”.
“A state that is not testing at all is an absolute high risk for Nigerians to go there because there is no testing facility and even if you fall sick, there is no isolation centre and they don’t even acknowledge that the disease exists. So for that reason, we put that state at the top of high risk state.”
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has repeatedly violated social distancing rules, among other protocols that could curb the spread of the virus.
Kogi is one the states where COVID-19 tests are next-to-nil as the governor insists that there is no coronavirus in the state.
Bello in a video widely recently discouraged the use of COVID-19 vaccine, stating that the jabs are meant to kill people.
The governor doubted the authenticity of the vaccine, saying there is no cure for HIV and many other diseases troubling mankind.
“Vaccines are being produced in less than one year of COVID-19. There is no vaccine yet for HIV, malaria, cancer, headache and for several other diseases that are killing us. They want to use the (COVID-19) vaccines to introduce the disease that will kill you and us. God forbid,” he said.
“We should draw our minds back to what happened in Kano during the Pfizer polio vaccines that crippled and killed our children. We have learned our lessons.
“If they say they are taking the vaccines in the public allow them take their vaccines. Don’t say I said you should not take it but if you want to take it, open your eyes before you take the vaccines.”
In his New Year broadcast, Bello said it would be irresponsible of his government to see COVID-19 as a definer of 2020.
He said Kogi would not respond to the second wave of the virus with “mass hysteria”.
The governor had also asked the Nigerian government to focus more on reviving the economy than on how to procure COVID-19 vaccines.
Saharareporters, New York