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Chief Medical Director, CMD, of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Prof Ikpeme A. Ikpeme on Thursday came out with a shocking revelation on the status of COVID 19 infection in the state: the pandemic is very much around in the state.
The CMD said in a circular addressed to all staff and patients that a test was carried out in the hospital a few days ago and that the result came out positive, even though the patient had been treated in the isolation centre and thereafter released to go home.
The state government had always insisted that there was no case of COVID 19 in the state. Last week, some officials of the government even accused the NCDC of plotting to import COVID 19 samples into the state, an allegation that was roundly denied by the NCDC.
According to the CMD, “with recent developments, it does appear that the state may not be free of COVID 19 as generally believed. A recent rapid test carried out on a patient came out positive. However, the patient had recovered and was discharged from our isolation centre last week.”
According to CMD, the hospital had also obtained approval from the NCDC to send samples directly to them, instead of passing same through the state epidemiology centre. This is expected to happen from now.
The circular which was dated June 25, 2020 added: “Management therefore urges staff and patients to protect themselves as maximally as possible. This is however, without prejudice to the fact that health care givers must make themselves available at all times to provide adequate treatment to patients without fear.
“Management on the other hand will do everything possible to ensure that staff and patients are adequately protected in line with the NCDC guidelines.
“The UCTH management has been in direct contact with the DG, NCDC and the NCDC has approved the hospital as 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 the NCDC accredited laboratories, while the NCDC works to help set up and accredit our laboratory.”
TNN made calls to the CMD on Thursday to confirm the veracity of the circular but he did not take the calls as 4.03pm.