Saturday, October 17, 2015 9:22 pm
*Further tests of dead student negative for ‘pathogenic viruses’
The Accident and Emergency ward of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, will still remain shut this weekend, more than a week after an Ebola scare that triggered a national panic.
Mr. Linus Awute, the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Health gave government’s decision today, even though he also declared that further tests on the student who died of suspected Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) showed that he was free from pathogenic viruses.
“The quarantined staff have been released and directed to report twice daily for temperature monitoring and follow-ups where necessary.
“A hospital sensitisation seminar facilitated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control was conducted.
“Normal clinical services have resumed at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital and the safety of this operation is guaranteed after the detailed decontamination carried out,’’ Awute said in a statement.
The ministry, Awute added, reiterated that there was no Ebola in Nigeria and the country remains Ebola free as certified by the World Health Organisation.
Awute said that all tests conducted to establish the actual cause of the student’s death proved negative to all pathogenic viruses known to man.
The ministry had earlier dispelled the speculation of fresh case of Ebola in Calabar, Cross River.
“Various test conducted on the deceased’s blood samples confirmed that the deceased was negative for both the Ebola Virus and Lassa Fever Virus,’’ it stated.
The ministry had also directed that the Redeemers University’s African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases at Ede, Osun, to confirm which virus caused the infection and death.
According to him, the result shows that the deceased was negative of pathogenic virus.
“The possibility of poisoning or intoxication with a chemical cannot be ruled out at this stage. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will continue with this investigation in collaboration with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC),’’ the statement added.
It stated that the ministry had directed that the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit where the patient was admitted would remain closed throughout this weekend.