The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has described the allegations levelled against the agency by the Cross River State Government as a misinterpretation of the Federal Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 testing strategy and efforts to protect the health of Nigerians from the deadly disease.
The Cross River State government had during the week, accused NCDC of shipping positive and negative test kits and cartridges into the state.
Refuting the allegation in a statement issued on Saturday, the agency said it was aware of recent statements regarding the country’s COVID-19 testing processes, by the Commissioners of Information and Health in Cross River State.
The Director General, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the statements by the Cross River Commissioners of Information and Health are a misinterpretation of the Federal Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 testing strategy and efforts to protect the health of Nigerians from this disease.
“We would like to state unequivocally, that there is no plan to transport positive samples from one state to the other.
Clarification of COVID-19 Testing Expansion in Nigeria in light of Comments by Officials of Cross River State
“One of our responsibilities at NCDC is to scale-up the capacity for COVID-19 diagnosis in Nigeria as we respond to this pandemic. Our ability to promptly detect cases and halt the spread of the virus in our communities, is largely dependent on our ability to scale-up access to testing for Nigerians,” he said.
The Commissioners of Information and Health in Cross River State, Asu Okang and Beta Edu, had accused the NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health of shipping positive and negative test kits and cartridges to Nigeria Navy Reference Hospital in Calabar, to violate the state’s COVID-19 free status.
Cross River is the only state in Nigeria that is yet to report any positive case of COVID-19. Nigeria has recorded 19, 147 confirmed cases with 487 deaths in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The accusation by the state was made the same day the lawmaker representing the Obudu State constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Godwin Akwaji, died of fever and other COVID-19 symptoms at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Isolation centre.