The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Betta Edu, on Friday said a sample of a suspected COVID-19 case in the state had been sent to the Irrua Specialist Hospital in Edo State for analysis.
Mrs Edu, a medical doctor, who was reacting to the death of a nurse at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), made the revelation in an interview with journalists in Calabar, the state capital.
Cross River State is one of the two states in Nigeria yet to record COVID-19 cases. The other is Kogi State.
The commissioner, who is also the Chairman of the Cross River COVID-19 Response Team, said she was aware of the death of the nurse but could not yet confirm whether or not the nurse died of a COVID-19 infection.
“We have sent samples to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) laboratory in Irrua, Edo State and the result is not yet back,” she said.
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However, a source at UCTH who pleaded anonymity said a nurse working in the hospital presented symptoms of COVID-19 on Wednesday in the Accident and Emergency (AE) Unit.
“After review, the deceased was taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) while being prepared for the UCTH Isolation Centre, and an ICU nurse and an anaesthetist cared for her.
“The patient died on Wednesday night, May 20, although her sample result is yet to be ready,” the source said.
A seven-member Ministerial Task Force visited the state on Monday to assess its level of response to the pandemic.
The task force also assessed some medical facilities put in place in the state to combat the pandemic.