Despite 500,000 deaths recorded from the disease globally, Cyril Otoikhian, a professor of genetics at the Novena University, Delta state, says COVID-19 is not real.
Otoikhian made this submission in spite of the fact that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has established the existence of the virus and declared it a pandemic.
His shocking claim comes at a time when the virus had infected close to 12 million and killed over 500, 000 persons globally, according to Worldmeters.
According to the NCDC, Nigeria has 30,748 confirmed cases of the virus and 689 deaths as of Thursday, 9 July.
Otoikhian, who featured in a programme on Channels Television on Monday, said the disease does not exist.
He stated that the secrecy and attendant controversies that happened in Cross River State and other places were indicative that the disease is not real.
“Why can’t they bring whatever they are doing indoors, outside? You say that it is real, then show it to us that it is real. If you bring it outside, then we set a flat table and all the scientists are there, the reagents and the camera is before everybody,” he said.
“Then let’s see what COVID-19 is, whether it exists because I have asked severally, let them bring somebody that is positive to COVID-19 and someone that died from COVID-19, carry out an autopsy on the dead body, show me exactly what you are calling COVID-19 inside the body or the positive person of COVID-19.”
The self-acclaimed professor, while buttressing his point, said: “If after all analysis being done, and COVID-19 is a virus and the first recommendation in the term of the treatment came from somebody who is not a medical doctor, who recommended chloroquine.”
He added: “unfolding trends” across the globe — which he did not substantiate — have shown “that COVID-19 is not even real at all”.
Reacting, Akayala Ishaku, a virologist, who also featured on the programme, described the professor’s claim as “disheartening and a sad reality”.
Ishaku said Cross River State “is not COVID-19 free,” adding that “there is something hidden that we are not being told”.
The virologist wondered why anyone would doubt the existence of COVID-19, despite happenings across the world.
“Science is not mythology or extrapolations, or heresy. What you have to do is bring the facts on the table. COVID-19 is real. It has been established that it is a viral infection and the first outbreak was in 2019, in Wuhan China,” he said.
“It has also been established that bats are the reservoir for the virus and that the virus undergoes certain mutations and then transmitted to humans and has been established that there is human to human transmission.
“If anybody claims within the faculty of knowledge that COVID-19 is not real, then he should tell us what is real. If in the place of knowledge, you are not agreeing with a pre-positions or postulation, then you must come up with your own postulation.
“Then you must come up with your postulation and bring up empirical evidence to establish what they feel is COVID-19 or not.
“If COVID-19 is not real, do you think that the world will close down airports and lose billions of dollars?”
Ishaku went on to question the professor’s credentials, noting none of his works could be seen on Google Scholar.
Otoikhian, however, fired back, saying: “I have 121 publications across different areas of specialisation and I know what I am talking about. Those who don’t like me may have deleted my works”.