Controversy trail positive COVID-19 case in Cross River
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Cross River State has asked staff members to protect themselves as maximally as possible as the threat of Coronavirus rage in the state.
The warning follows a recent rapid test carried out on a patient at the hospital which returned positive.
The University management said with the recent developments, it does appear that the state may not be free of COVID-19 as generally believed.
A statement allegedly signed by the Chief Medical Director, Professor Ikpeme A. Ikpeme said the suspected patient was treated and discharged from the hospital isolation centre.
The management said its warning is without prejudice to the fact that healthcare givers must make themselves available at all times to provide adequate treatment to patients without fear.
It, in spite of that, promised to do everything possible to ensure that staff and patients are adequately protected in line with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines.
”The UCTH Management has been in direct contact with the Director-General, NCDC and the NCDC has approved the Hospital as an independent test centre. The implication of this is that, henceforth, we do not need to pass samples through the Epidemiology unit of the state
as was the case before.
The Hospital can now send samples directly to NCDC accredited Laboratories while the NCDC works to help set up and accredit our Laboratory. We, therefore, urge everybody to honestly do the needful to ensure that our community is protected from the Coronavirus pandemic.
”In furtherance of steps earlier taken to protect our staff, patients and facility management will ensure strict compliance with measures geared towards protecting our population. This will involve strict entry and exit protocols into our facilities.
But the Commissioner for Health and Chairman COVID-19, Dr Betta Edu in a statement said the Cross River State Government has noted an internal memo by the Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Professor Ikpeme stating that it had one positive test result.
It is important to state that an index COVID-19 case can only be confirmed with PCR and not the antibody Rapid Diagnostic test kits which the NCDC had said has very low sensitivity and specificity, therefore, should not be used for COVID 19 diagnosis.
As a state Government, we have commenced an investigation into this case and we will get back to the public with our findings. All efforts to identify and isolate suspected cases will be encouraged but we denounce any attempt to label CRS COVID-19 positive using a rapid antibody testing methodology. For now, Cross River State has no confirmed case of COVID-19.
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