The Akwa Ibom State Government has rejected the test results of the five coronavirus cases announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Wednesday night.
It fingered irregularities in the testing process and thereby called on the Centre to conduct another round of tests forthwith.
In a statement issued on Thursday, April 3, 2020 the government said all the fives cases reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 were yet to show any symptom of the virus.
It alleged that the NCDC director-general, Chikwe Ihekweazu, was not aware of the results before the announcement.
The statement read, “We observed a disturbing breach in the test and reporting procedure. Akwa Ibom State Government only heard about the test results in the news
“The Director-General of NCDC was not aware of the reported result announcement.
“All five reported positive test cases have been contacted and they have shown no COVID-19 symptoms.
“While the tests were being processed in NCDC-approved test facilities, all suspected cases were held in isolation.
“Several sample batches have been previously sent for testing from Akwa Ibom State and they all returned negative results.
“Owing to the irregularities observed in the testing and reporting procedure, Health Care Professionals in Akwa Ibom State have called for an immediate reconfirmation test on the five reported cases.”
WHO Expresses Concerned As COVID-19 Cases Escalate In Africa
With more than 6000 COVID-19 cases reported in Africa, the virus is threatening fragile health systems on the continent. Infections are increasingly spreading not only between African countries but within different localities in the hardest-hit countries.
For instance, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where COVID-19 cases were at first confined to Kinshasa, now a handful of cases have been reported in the easternmost regions of the country that were until recently in the grip of an Ebola outbreak. In South Africa, all provinces have now reported cases. The outbreaks in Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Senegal are also widespread.
“Case numbers are increasing exponentially in the African region,” said Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa “It took 16 days from the first confirmed case in the Region to reach 100 cases. It took a further 10 days to reach the first thousand. Three days after this, there were 2000 cases, and two days later we were at 3000.”
To contain COVID-19, many countries in Africa are implementing measures, which restrict gatherings and the movement of people. Nationwide lockdowns are in effect in Kenya, Uganda, the Republic of the Congo and elsewhere. However, governments must use these measures in a considered, evidence-based manner, and make sure that people can continue to access basic necessities.