No Covid-19 Resurgence In Benue State, Says NCDC

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has said that the news report on the detection of 25 new COVID-19 cases in Benue State was a misinterpretation of a statement made on 11th December 2023 by a World Health Organization’s (WHO) State surveillance officer.

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Director General of the NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa disclosed this in a statement issued on Thursday, December 14, 2023.

According to Adetifa, the surveillance officer, while giving her presentation on the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Benue at the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Media Personnel Meeting organised by the Benue State Primary Healthcare Board in collaboration with the WHO,
stated that, “Benue State had recorded a total of 25 cases in the year 2023 with the last case recorded as of mid-April (epi week 18)”.

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He said, the information provided by the surveillance officer was based on the publicly available situation report (SITREP) published weekly by the state ministry of health.

The DG clarified that, since the announcement of the index case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, there had been a total number 6,013, 826 tests conducted, 267,184 confirmed case and 3,155 deaths. In the last quarter of the year (October to December 2023), there had been a total of 15,481 test conducted, 75 confirmed cases in 25 states.

He added that, since the WHO official declaration that COVID-19 no longer constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the NCDC, had included COVID-19 in the integrated disease surveillance strategy as a priority infectious disease which now required conducting routine COVID-19 testing and reporting it along with other infectious diseases.

He further informed that COVID-19 testing was part of clinical care for pandemic flu preparedness, and bi-directional testing during investigations for influenza, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and in high-risk populations.

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