Kogi state has been classified as “high risk” for COVID-19 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, which announced the classification on Monday, warned Nigerians to be ware of visiting the state.
Yahaya Bello, the governor of Kogi state, is well known for refusing to acknowledge the existence of the disease which he calls a “fraud”.
He does not wear any face mask except when visiting President Muhammadu Buhari. Recently, he said the COVID-19 vaccine is “meant to kill us”, asking people not to receive it.
Mukhtar Muhammad, the national incident manager of the PTF, said at the media briefing that Kogi was not testing at all.
“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,” he 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 center and they don’t even acknowledge that the disease exists. For that reason, we put that state at the top of high risk states’,” he said.
He also said there are 22 high-burdened local government areas within 13 states in the country that contributed over 95 percent of the cases recorded in the last six weeks.
The states and local governments listed are:
Nkanu West (Enugu)
Abuja Municipal (FCT)
Ilorin South (Kwara)
Ilorin West (Kwara)
Lagos Mainland (Lagos)
Ibadan North (Oyo)
Jos North (Plateau,
Jos South (Plateau)
Port Harcourt (Rivers)