A day after officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced they are heading to Cross River State for massive Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) confirmed five positive COVID-19 cases in the State.
Until now, Cross River State was the only State in Nigeria with no record of the virus.
Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the UCTH, Professor Ikpeme Ikpeme, in a statement on Friday in Calabar, the Cross River state capital, urged all staff of the hospital to abide by all guidelines on hand washing and respiratory hygiene as advised by the State and Federal Governments.
Professor Ikpeme’s statement reads: “The management of UCTH wishes to inform her staff and patients that COVID-19 tests performed on five samples from our hospital returned positive. Two of these samples came from our medical staff. These staff members have since made tremendous progress along the path of recovery and are doing well.
“The tests were performed using the PCR technique at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control accredited laboratory located at Alex Ekwueme University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki. Management has duly informed the Cross River Government and other agencies of government.
“We wish to reassure our staff and patients that a positive COVID-19 test is neither a death sentence nor a reason for any fear or stigmatisation,” Ikpeme said in the memo. As an institution of government, UCTH will continue to provide information and guidance and take steps to protect our staff, patients and the community we serve.
“We, therefore, urge everyone to take personal responsibility and cooperate with the government and institutions in the ongoing fight against COVID-19, especially with the relaxation of the lockdown which can potentially translate into an increase in the number of cases.”
The Cross River State Government has consistently denied that there is COVID-19 case in the State.