Highlights Of Response By The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire At The PTF Briefing On COVID-19, Thursday 4th June, 2020
On those who dispute their COVID-19 positive results:
"It's been said that a good number, perhaps some up to 80% of people who are positive of COVID-19 will have no symptoms or they have very mild symptoms up to 80. So symptoms can be so mild or none at all and those who have no symptoms will not believe you that they are positive because they look at TV and they see people collapsing, they see intensive care, they see people being intubated and in their own case, there see nothing wrong with them, so they don't believe you that they are sick; so you do have a problem trying to convince them that they are positive and you are going to put them in isolation not because they are sick but because you want to keep them away from infecting others. So you do have that issue that people dispute their results and in some cases you have to do their results two times or three times and they still don't believe you, so some people can be asymptomatic that they are walking around and we don't know.
Again, you also have the issue of people who test and they are positive and they have no symptoms and they think you are going to look for them, they run, they go into hiding or they disappear; So, that's the question that you are asking why the figures don't tally, the reason is that those who think you are going to trace them - contact tracing make it difficult because they don't want to go into isolation; you remember the photos, you saw the clips from Gombe, where young men who were all positive in an isolation centre were marching up along the street disputing the claim that they are not sick, saying that they have no COVID, those are the ones who have no symptoms, so we do have quite a strange and odd picture presentation of this disease. There are cases we also could see that the very old people will likely loose their lives; but there is also a report of a 103 year old woman, 103 who had COVID-19 and has survived. So, we do have some old people who will survive and also very young people who pass away, and you have a picture of those who look very well and then suddenly their condition changes within a day or two, the next thing you hear is that they are in distress and before they are rushed to the hospital, it's late; so the best thing is to err on the side of caution. Trust your doctor, trust the care giver and do what they say you should do, what is good for you, what is best for you is not to try and take your own decision by yourself because we don't know enough about these disease to be able to be sure that we can take care of it ourselves. So, the best thing is to trust your care giver, go into a centre where you are isolated or where you are in treatment until you are told you are ok, then you can leave and go back to your house. So, I think that answers all these questions about asymptomatic isolation.
Where are they? The reason is that they are not in the system, many of them are not there, you can't track them and, that's the reason why we do have cases of community transmission going up."
Compiled by Blessing Efem.
Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Information, Media & Public Relations, FMOH.