Suspected Covid-19 Patients Lament Delay In Confirming Status

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Patients suspected to be COVID-19 positive in Bayelsa have bemoaned the delay in getting results from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) laboratories  Edo and Port Harcourt.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that worst affected are medical personnel who had contacts with confirmed patients, who went into self- isolation for two weeks and the test results are still being awaited.

Some respondents who spoke on the development on Thursday in Yenagoa, urged the relevant stakeholders to cooperate and improve the turnaround time between sample submission and confirmation of results.

A medical practitioner, who spoke on the development, said that the delays had caused some stress on the manpower at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa and the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri.

The doctor who spoke with NAN on the condition of anonymity said more than 10 of them who had completed the two weeks isolation, could not go back to work until the results are out.

“As it stands, a lot of us who have been involved with managing patients who are confirmed COVID-19 positive according to the protocols, will go into self-isolation for two weeks.

“After the period, we cannot still have results of our samples sent for tests at Irua Specialist Hospital in Edo and University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital; we do not know what is causing the delay,’’ the source said.

Dr Johnbull Jumbo, Chairman of Medical Advisory Committee, NDUTH, the leading COVID-19 management centre in Bayelsa, told NAN that there are so many suspected COVID-19 cases awaiting results of tests from the NCDC.

However, in a reaction, Dr Nathaniel Apoku, Co-Chairman of Bayelsa COVID-19 Task Force, acknowledged the delays and explained that it was due to scarcity of reagents at the NCDC laboratories in Edo and Port Harcourt.

Apoku said that the state, in the last two weeks, had over 300 pending samples of suspected COVID-19 cases at the laboratories.

He said that the laboratories were having issues with reagents and supplies, hence the delay in returning the results.

“Yesterday, we received results from 76 samples; 54 returned positive for COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 86 in the state. We are expecting more test results from today as well.

“Eleven of these positive cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases; eight are healthcare professionals,” Apoku said.

He dismissed speculations that the delay was caused by the task force and said that the COVID-19 team chaired by Gov. Douye Diri was working hard to establish a world class molecular laboratory to carry out the tests in the state.

“We are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that we have our own molecular laboratory in the state, following the donation of a new RT-PCR machine by Shell Joint Venture partners to the state,” Apoku said.


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