The Bauchi state government has faulted the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) over the release on its website, test results of samples from the state without first contacting it.
The state Chairman, Task Force on Lassa fever and COVID-19 Response Committee, Senator Baba Tela made the observations while briefing journalists on situation report about the disease at the Government House on Thursday.
Tela, who is also the state deputy governor said Bauchi state has only four positive cases of coronovirus as against the eight posted on the website of the NCDC.
“If you look at the website of the NCDC yesterday, you will see that they posted that Bauchi state has eight cases, that is six confirmed cases and two wew cases,” the deputy governor said.
Sen. Tela, who said that the committee is not disputing the capacity of the NCDC and its ability to work, however pointed out that a little bit of issues have been noted in the manner the centre presented Bauchi state results.
“We had expected that the state government should have been contacted before the release of any result because we take the samples to them and we know these people that we have taken the samples from; we know where they are staying and we know how to trace them and things like that,” he opined.
He added: “We felt that any time they get a positive case, rather than to go on their website and say that there are so so cases from Bauchi or from this place, is not the right thing to do, they should have contacted the state government that sent the samples to them.”
On the said additional two new cases in the state, the deputy governor explained that there was a mix up where two samples of the three index cases that were sent for re-evaluation were recorded as new cases.
“First of all, we had three index cases which are all under management. Again, we sent another sample of three people to them and when they sent the results of these samples to us, there were some contention because the addresses were not correct; they gave us the addresses of people living in Abuja and the gender was also mixed up.
“Where you have sent a sample of a male person when it comes back it shows that it’s a female. So, we alerted NCDC and said look, there has been a lot of mix up in these three results that you have sent to us in terms of addresses and in terms of gender,” he further said.
The deputy governor added: “So, that compromises the results and they said, okay, bring them back to us, we will retest the three samples again, but meanwhile, they have already added those three with the initial three that we have which made it six.
“When we took those three samples to them, we also took back for re-evaluation, the samples of the first three indexes and two others, making eight samples, that is three for the first three positive cases, three for the ones they said they will re-evaluate and two for new samples. Now, the two new samples came back negative.
“The 2 new samples came back negative. And out of the first and second sets that we sent to them, two again tested negative from those ones too.
So, we already have four index cases and out of those four index cases, two tested positive again because it is re-evaluation and a continuous process you have to keep on testing until somebody turns negative.”
He said that the two index cases under management were recorded as two new positive cases in the state.
“But, we have discovered where the problem is, the problem is from us and from them at the same time. They didn’t tell us before until now, that when you are sending a sample for re-testing or re-evaluation or follow up you have to put the hospital number and details of that sample of the person that is under treatment,” the committee chairman said.
He further explained that the task force has been sending samples people under management to NCDC without the details of the hospital admission and the rest and so they treat them as new cases.
“They have been treating and recording samples that were sent for re-evaluation and re-testing as new samples and posted as new cases once they are tested positive.
“That is why they said we have eight new cases, but I can tell you that we currently have only four cases in the state and they are all under management,” he added.
Tela, who commended the NCDC for working tirelessly to contain the spread of the COVID-19 across the country, enjoined them to sit down with officials of the Bauchi state government and iron the issues out, adding that the state government has written a letter to the NCDC director general so that they will correct the mistake from their website.
The deputy governor also announced the receipt of donation of gloves, masks as well as personal protection equipment to the state government by an international relief organisation.