NCDC COVID-19 figures not telling the whole truth – Prof. Oyewale Tomori

The Chairman, National Technical Committee on COVID-19, Professor Oyewale Tomori, has said the COVID-19 figures being released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NSCDC) on COVID-19 may not be telling the whole truth about the pandemic in the country.

Tomori, a virologist and lecturer at the Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State spoke at the opening of the Annual General Meeting of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, University College Hospital, Ibadan, chapter with the theme: ‘Science and Mis-Science of COVID-19’.

Professor Tomori said figures being released by NCDC were not telling the complete truth about the infection, according to TRIBUNE.

“I get a bit worried about what happens with our result that comes on when NCDC brings out data on a daily basis without giving us the full details of what is happening.

“I have been at committee meetings in which the figures that NCDC puts out is faulted by the people who are directly involved. I remember the case of Sokoto, for example, when NCDC puts up 900 cases and the guy who is in charge of the laboratory for the state said the number they have is over 2000,” he said.

NCDC COVID-19 figures not telling the whole truth - Prof. Oyewale Tomori
NCDC COVID-19 figures not telling the whole truth – Prof. Oyewale Tomori

The don declared that the drop in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria may also not be genuine since NCDC only gives figures of cases and leaves out the detail of what is happening.

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“They give you the number of cases but they do not give the number that they have tested. Unless you have both figures, you don’t really know where your hot spots are. This is one of the mis-science that we are talking about in Nigeria.

“Since the 27th week, the NCDC had been adding on a regular basis between 5000 and 20,000 what they call backlog of samples. Where they are coming from we don’t know. So, when you add those backlogs to your testing for that week, you tend to get what we call a lower positivity rate, which is actually not the truth of what is happening,” he observed.

The chairman, UCH Response Team on COVID-19, Professor Kayode Osungbade, also doubted the decline in cases of COVID -19 in Nigeria and declared that it was not apparent.

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According to him, “The situation in Nigeria is similar to that in Oyo State. The drastic fall in the number of tests conducted which dropped to almost 50 per cent in August could be responsible for the drop in the number of positive cases. For me again, that is not a true decline.”

Osungbade said the nation needs to be cautious about the reopening of the airports, schools, universities and club houses.

The chairman on the occasion, Professor Samuel Omokhodion, said Nigeria should not rush to reopen the economy because if a spike is noticed after reopening, it would still come back to have a negative effect on the same economy.

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