Rivers State Ministry of Health has confirmed that the test carried out on the rumoured forty-three years old man who returned from United States of America and suspected to have Corona virus COVID 19 is negative.
Commissioner of Health, Professor Princewill Chike, who confirmed this while briefing newsmen at the state Secretariat urged the public to disregard every misinformation making rounds on social media with names of individuals and facilities, as it is untrue and totally misrepresented.
He noted that the Ministry of Health and the state government is not happy at the unprofessional way the situation was handled, adding that there is an ethical principle in the medical practice.
“Rivers State has not recorded any positive case of COVID 19. However, on the 10th of March, the Rivers State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre was notified of a suspected case of COVID 19, a 43 year old male Nigerian who had returned from the United States of America on the 22nd of February, 2020 through the Lagos International Airport and visited Port-Harcourt for official duties.
“He had earlier exhibited mild respiratory symptoms and was placed on treatment for malaria and respiratory tract infection. The Rapid Response Team was quick to react, investigate and self-isolate the patient, while nasal, oropharyngeal and sputum samples were collected for analysis and dispatched to the reference laboratory in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital LUTH.
“I can beat my chest to tell you now, that the result of the suspected case of COVID 19 that was making trends on the social is negative. This result is signed by Head of Laboratory and Virology Unit, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Professor S.A Omilabo.
“There are ethical principles in the medical practice. The Rivers State government feel embarrassed at the way ethical procedures were not followed in transmitting such information, which would have caused panic and problems in the state, human right concerns and standard protocols that guides outbreaks of declaration and decisions were not taken.
“The public is however enjoined to seek correct information only from official sources, such as: the World Health Organization, National Center for Disease Control, Federal and State Ministries of Health.
” There are protocols to follow to declare an epidemic or pandemic, protocols to follow to say somebody has it or not, protocols to follow for management and protocols to protect oneself and others ”
He however appealed to the public to stop seeking medical help across the counter, as it is unethical to prescribe drugs without an appropriate test or screening.
“People should visit government health approved facilities for their medical help, the chemist stores are not safe, and will not be able to detect a patient who have gotten such diseases. We reiterate that the state government is taking care of the situation, to ensure that no case of COVID 19 is recorded in the state”