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COVID-19 testing in Kogi has been a huge challenge –NMA

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The Kogi State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) lamented on Thursday that testing for COVID-19 had remained a huge challenge in the state.

The NMA Chairman in Kogi State, Kabir Zubair, who disclosed this while reacting to the claim by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that only one test had been sent to the centre by Kogi since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, said the state had recorded a number of suspected cases but such cases could not be ascertained to be positive or negative without tests.

According to the NMA chairman, the challenge of inadequate testing led to agitation from members of the Association of Resident Doctors, who claimed they had been receiving suspected COVID-19 cases at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja.

Zubair said: “Although no confirmed case has been reported in Kogi State till date, a number of suspected cases have been attended to at FMC Lokoja and members of ARD are among the first set of people to attend to these patients and as such, they might be exposed to the highly contagious COVID-19.

“The NMA is aware that they have become agitated and apprehensive in the last few months due to the community spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“As a clinician, standard practice demands that the moment you have a clinical suspicion of infectious diseases, the ideal thing is to carry out laboratory confirmation.

“COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease responsible for the ongoing global pandemic. In Nigeria, new cases are reported daily and community spread is accelerating.

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“ This is the reason why members of ARD are agitated as testing for COVID-19 has remained a challenge in the state.”

Kogi and Cross River are the only states in Nigeria without a single case of COVID-19 since the country recorded its first case of the virus in February.

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