The government of Cross River State through the state Commissioner for Health, Dr.Betta Edu, has disagreed with the claims by the Chief Medical Director of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Professor Ikpeme Ikpeme suggesting that the state may not be free from the coronavirus disease.
The position of the CMD was stated in a memo which he noted that the recent test carried out on a patient in the hospital came out positive. “With recent development, it does appear that the state may not be free of COVID-19 pandemic as generally believed”. “A recent rapid test carried out on a patient came out positive; the patient had recovered and was discharged from our Isolation center last week”.
Reacting to this, the Commissioner noted that an “index COVID-19 case can only be confirmed with Polymerise Chain Reaction (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.”
She noted that the state government has begun a probe into the matter, she said that any attempt to label the state as COVID-19 Positive using a rapid antibody testing methodology will be strongly opposed by the government.
“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!” she said.
She also called on the Federal Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to urgently support the state in its fight against the virus.