The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Cross River Chapter, on Saturday urged the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to critically appraise the state’s COVID-19 status.
In a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Dr. Agam Ayuk, and Secretary, Dr. Ezoke Epoke, the association also called on the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other stakeholders to look at the issue.
Cross River remains the only state in the country without a single case of COVID-19 as at Friday night.
The NMA said the call followed the increasing reports of cases of flu-like symptoms, respiratory challenges and loss of smell/taste in some hospitals in the state.
According to the body, such symptoms indicated a potential community transmission of an undetected disease fitting the epidemiological pattern of COVID-19.
The statement read:
“A recent research published in Nature Medicine in the United Kingdom revealed that loss of smell (anosmia) is a stronger predictor than fever for COVID-19, prompting recommendations of self-isolation if detected.
“We call on the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 through the Ministry of Health and Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, state government, and all stakeholders to critically appraise the COVID-19 status of Cross River.
“The COVID-19 infection curve is still on the rise and yet to peak in the country. Lack of adherence to infection prevention strategies such as social distancing, use of face mask and hand sanitizer at this crucial time is worrisome.”
The NMA said the medical community believed that there was a lack of evidence to ascertain the state’s actual COVID-19 status and disease burden due to the low number of tests carried out.
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