CALABAR - The Cross River State Government has debunked widespread rumours of alleged coronavirus index case by the state's University Teaching Hospital (UCTH).
This declaration was contained in a recent press statement issued by the state's ministry of health and signed by the Commissioner, Dr Betta Edu, a copy of which was made available to NEWS FLAKES NG.
According to Dr Edu, "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".
While calling on residents to remain calm, she appealed to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, to support the state in its quest to ensure that the state successfully managed the spread of COVID-19 through effective management means.
The release reads in parts;
"The attention of the Cross River State Government has been drawn to an internal memo signed 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."
The Health Commissioner also revealed that, " 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.", she advised.
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