The index case of COVID-19 in Kogi did not contract the disease from another state as he has not travelled recently, according to his family members, TheCable reports.
In a statement on Friday, Tai Ejibunu, obatebise of Oweland, said the patient identified as Ahmad Ejibunu, chief imam of Kabba, may have been infected in Kogi.
TheCable had reported how the state recorded its first cases of the disease who are now known to be the imam and one of his aides.
After the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed the cases, the state government rejected the results, accusing NCDC of perpetrating fraud.
But in the statement shared with TheCable, Ejibunu said there is “no need for Kogi State government to deny the obvious”, adding that contact tracing had started.
He said the chief imam had been down with flu after which he was admitted at the Specialist Hospital in Kabba and transferred to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Lokoja, from where he was referred to the National Hospital, Abuja, where he tested positive for the virus.
“The family is concerned about the well being of other Owes and we wish to confirm that Covid-19 has fond its way sadly to our community and the State,” he said.
“Therefore, no need for Kogi State government to deny the obvious. We would like to stress that the Chief Imam, of recent, had never ventured outside Kogi State by way of travelling outside the State. So, the ‘virus’ could have been contacted within.
“We wish to advise our people to please abide by the protocols emplaced by the NCDC and play safe.”
He added that the family is “cooperating with the Kogi State Government and the NCDC to stem the spread”, and that contact tracing and testing of family members of the index case had began.
“What we need from our people is empathy and no need for the acrimonious exchange of views and counter views,” Ejibunu said.