Thursday, September 21, 2023
HomeHealthMinistry of Health Dismisses Claims of New COVID-19 Variant in Ebonyi

Ministry of Health Dismisses Claims of New COVID-19 Variant in Ebonyi

The health ministry has refuted claims made in an internal memo from the National Obstetric Fistula Centre in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, warning of a new, more lethal COVID-19 variant. The memo, titled ‘FYI: COVID is on the prowl again, caution, please,’ described the new variant as “more deadly than the first,” with symptoms including “joint pain, headache, neck and upper back pain, general weakness, loss of appetite, and pneumonia.”

The memo further stated, “This means that the virus spreads directly to the lungs, causing acute respiratory stress due to viral pneumonia. This explains why it has become sharp, more virulent, and deadly. Please, be extremely careful.”

However, Patricia Deworitshe, the spokesperson for the health minister, issued a statement on Friday dismissing the memo’s claims as false. Deworitshe said that Tunji Alausa, the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, had met with the Fistula Centre’s management to discuss the memo.

“The information in the memo, warning staff about a resurgence of COVID-19, is not substantiated and therefore untrue,” the statement read. “No new COVID-19 cases have been detected at our Centre for the past year, and there is no increase in cases in Abakaliki or Ebonyi State in general.”

Deworitshe added that the memo’s information was “a product of unverified and unsubstantiated news from social media.” The statement concluded by advising the public to disregard the memo, stating that only the Nigerian Centre for Disease and Control (NCDC) has the authority to release information on COVID-19.



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