C’River Govt counters UCTH, says state remains Covid-19 free

Source: Paradise News

The Cross River Government has countered the position of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital on the presence of Coronavirus disease in the state.

An internal memo signed by the Chief Medical Director of the tertiary health facility, Prof. Ikpeme Ikpeme, on Thursday, had advised staff and patients to observe caution after a patient recently tested positive to Covid-19, using the rapid test method.

But in a swift reaction, the state government in a press release signed by the Commissioner for Health and Chairman of the State Covid-19 Taskforce, Dr Betta Edu, said the methodology used in arriving at such conclusion was not reliable, adding that even the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned against depending only on the rapid test method to draw conclusion.

According to the release, “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 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 comfirmed case of COVID-19.

“We use this opportunity to further call on the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC to as a matter of urgency, support Cross River state in the fight against COVID-19.

“We urge all Cross Riverians to remain calm and not panic, but simply step up efforts in adhering to all safety procedures in the state to prevent COVID-19 outbreak in the state.”

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