5 cases of coronavirus have been reported in Cross River State by the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) as at Friday, the 3rd of July 2020. This is because 5 samples sent for from the hospital for testing returned positive for COVID-19 according to the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Ikpeme Ikpeme, in an internal memo sent to the staff of the hospital.
Dr. Ikpeme said the tests were conducted in a laboratory approved by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State. 2 of the samples came from health workers in the UCTH, adding that the workers were making “tremendous progress along the path of recovery”.
Mr Ikpeme said the Cross River State government has been informed on the development. The Cross River government, before now, had insisted there was no case of confirmed coronavirus in the state.
“We wish to reassure our staff and patients that a positive COVID-19 test is neither a death sentence nor a reason for any type of fear or stigmatisation,” the UCTH said.
As stated above, our medical personnel have recovered. We urge all our staff and patients to abide by all the guidelines on hand and respiratory hygiene as advised by the state and federal government through their various agencies, especially the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. There is absolutely no reason for panic. As an institution of government, the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital will continue to provide information and guidance, and take steps to protect our staff, patients and the community we serve
The Commissioner for Health in Cross River, Betta Edu did not respond to calls seeking comment on the development.
Recall that on Monday, the 22nd of June 2020, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of NCDC while speaking at the bi-weekly Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing submitted that “No state, no single state in Nigeria is COVID-19 free, not one”.
“No country in the world is COVID-19 free. Even New Zealand, that is an island state is still having new cases after a period of not having any,” the DG said. He reiterated the agency’s commitment to continue to test more people and put them on treatment.