The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said the figures of confirmed COVID-19 cases released for Akwa-Ibom are accurate.
The Director-General of the agency, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this is not a time to dispute or doubt especially within government.
“This is not a time to release press statements against anybody. It is time to come together,” he said.
Ihekweazu was responding to a statement by the Akwa Ibom government, questioning the credibility of the recently confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state.
The agency, on Wednesday, announced 23 new cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria. Five of the new cases were said to have been recorded in Akwa Ibom State.
The state government, in a statement by its commissioner for health, Dominic Ukpong, however, said there was “a disturbing breach in the test and reporting procedure” adopted by the agency.
It said the reported positive test cases have been contacted and they have showed no COVID-19 symptoms.
The government, therefore, demanded a reconfirmation test on the five reported cases.
“Owing to the irregularities observed in the testing and reporting procedure, healthcare professionals in Akwa Ibom State have called for an immediate reconfirmation test on the five reported cases,” the statement said.
Ihekweazu while answering questions from a journalist at the Presidential Taskforce briefing on Thursday, said there is no reason for doubts as the test was carried out in a trusted laboratory.
He also said the COVID-19 test is done twice before results are announced.
“Every new case in a state always leave a little bit of anxiety and people need time to accept that these results are what they are.
“But they are what they are, I have no reason to doubt the results coming out from any of our labs and especially the Ira specialist teaching hospital,” he said.
“There is no result anybody will give without verifying. We are working very hard to make sure these results are correct.
“Sometimes we delay in releasing these results because the test is being repeated so that we can be very sure,” he added.
The NCDC boss said the reported cases “will be retested at a specific time”.
“Yes they will be retested at a specific time. After every positive case, we would retest anyway after three to four days.
“The only way to know it people are recovering or not is by retesting them so that will be done,” he said.
As of Thursday evening, Nigeria has recorded 174 cases of COVID-19 and two deaths.
At least 18 people have recovered from the disease and have been discharged.