NCDC, AOLG refute voice note recording on COVID-19 figure in the Council area
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Amuwo Odofin Local Government (AOLG) in Lagos State on Saturday refuted claims of giving out an alarming figure of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the area.
The Council Chairman, Mr Valentine Buraimoh and the NCDC at a press briefing organised by AOLG at its secretariat in Festac Town, reacted to a voice note that went viral on social media, claiming that residents of the council area had been heavily infected by the novel coronavirus.
In the voice note going viral on social media, the sender claimed that Amuwo Odofin was a ‘hot mess’ because of an alarming number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the council area.
According to the council Chairman, Mr Valentine Buraimoh, the person who recorded the audio – who he identified as Dr Faith Anyanwu – is neither a staff of the Lagos State Government nor that of the NCDC.
Buraimoh said: “The active case search in AOLG is to identify people with symptoms to enable them qualify for screening to know the number of positive COVID-19 patients in the local government area. Persons with symptoms are then sampled to determine whether they are positive or negative,” he said.
He said that samples were sent to the NCDC Emergency Operation Centre in the state, where they were tested and results communicated to the concerned people, privately.
The chairman said, “This is a zonal office that includes Ajeromi, Amuwo Odofin, Ojo, Badagry and Apapa.
“All these local governments I have mentioned come here to do collation of tests; so the 23 index cases are not only in Amuwo Odofin, it cuts across the five local government areas I mentioned.”
Buraimoh urged residents of the council area to remain calm and observe all preventive measures as directed by governments and medical experts.
Buraimoh’s statement reads in part:
“The interview of the active case search was to identify people with symptoms similar to COVID-19 in Lagos State. These identified persons are subsequently being screened to determine the number of positive cases”.
“The recorded voice message is completely not in tandem with the purpose of the active case search, which is to identify people with symptoms to enable them qualify for screening and to know the number of positive COVID-19 patients in the Local Government Area. Thereafter persons with symptoms are then sampled to determine whether they are positive or negative”.
The following are the facts in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area:
* Walk-in sample collection site was established on 12th April 2020 at the Local Government headquarter Secretariat at 41 road Festac Town.
* Daily sample collection has been going on at the Secretariat till this moment.
*Samples collected are sent to the EOC (Emergency Operation Centre) in Lagos State where the samples are processed and result communicated to the concerned persons privately.
The Team at the Local Government headed by the Medical Officer of Health has continued to work assiduously and professionally.
We are presently involved in the control of COVID-19 as a Local Government in the following area:
Walk-in screening centre presently at the Local Government Area is open for all people with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. All residents within and outside of the Local Government Area come for sample collection in Amuwo Odofin, being a Zonal Centre.
Thus, the result is not a true reflection of cases from Amuwo Odofin LGA. The Case investigation Team are also going after people who are exposed to COVID-19 patients for sample collection.
De-contamination of open areas, hospital, markets, health centres etc is currently on-going.
Health education and community awareness messages on COVID-19 prevention is also on-going at various fora in the Local Government Area.
Also, Dr Oyeladun Okunromade, Lead, Rapid Response Team, Surveillance, NCDC, said that Anyanwu was not a staff of the agency and not in any position to divulge such information.
“She is not by any means an agent of NCDC, she does not work for NCDC,” she said.