Hadiza Bala Usman

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has stated that it has not recorded any coronavirus case on any vessel.

The NPA was responding to a statement by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) on Thursday on the update of Covid-19 cases in Nigeria.

The NCDC had announced that it recorded 14 new cases, including six on vessels, which takes the total number of confirmed cases to 65.

It is the highest number of cases confirmed so far by the body in a single day.

“14 new cases of #COVID19 have been confirmed in Nigeria: 2 in FCT, 12 in Lagos,” NCDC tweeted at 8.35 pm.

“Of the 14, 6 were detected on a vessel, 3 are returning travellers into Nigeria & 1 is close contact of a confirmed case,” NCDC said.

But in a reaction which seems to contradict the NCDC, the NPA which is the agency in charge of ports in Nigeria said it did not record any such case.

“Hello @NCDCgov. In respect to the 6 new cases that “were detected on a vessel” in Lagos, the Authority in collaboration with Port Health has not recorded any confirmed cases to date.”

“To enable verification and proper record keeping, kindly avail us with specific details on the name of the Vessel the passengers were on board, and the Terminal or Jetty where they berthed,” the NPA tweeted.


On Twitter, the NCDC was yet to reply to the issues raised by the NPA.

The spokesperson of the NPA, Jatto Adams, and the head of the NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, did not respond to phone calls and text messages when contacted.
Most of the cases confirmed in the country are returnees from countries with high burden of coronavirus.

Earlier on Thursday, information minister Lai Mohammed, and his health counterpart, Osagie Ehanire, lamented that most of the returnees have not been following the advisory of self-isolation after returning from foreign travels.

Some returnees who flouted the advisory and later tested positive for COVID-19 are top government officials. These include President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed.

While contact tracing and testing of suspected persons are still ongoing, public health experts have said Nigeria should be prepared for more cases.

To contain the spread, the federal government has banned international travels while various state governments have restricted public gatherings, closed schools, markets and other public places.

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