By Edeki Igafe
Warri (Delta) – Dr. Paul Okubor, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Central Hospital, Warri, has cautioned Nigerians against fake news and stigmatisation of COVID-19 patients in the society.
Okubor gave the warning while speaking with newsmen on Friday in Warri.
He said that such attitude was capable of preventing people with the symptoms to come forward for treatment and by implication spread the virus.
“Aside the routine protocols of washing hands and social distancing among others, society needs to show high level of responsibilities and sensitivity.
“We must ensure there is no stigmatisation of people with COVID-19.
“If we do not stop the stigmatisation and fake news going on in the social media, those who have the reasons to come to the hospital will not come forward because of fear of stigmatisation.
“If they do not come forward, they will continue to spread it and the society will suffer for it. So very importantly, we must stop stigmatisation and fake news,” he said.
Speaking on the rumour trending on the social media platform that a patient who is COVID-19 negative is being isolated at the hospital’s Isolation Centre, Okubor said it was not true.
According him, only those who are COVID-19 positive are brought into the Isolation Centre for treatment.
“If the test is done and the result comes out negative, it is communicated to the person and if positive, it is also communicated to the person.
“If positive, government takes responsibility by taken the patient to isolation centre for treatment.
“One, to ensure the person does not die and secondly to remove the person from the larger society so as not to spread the virus.
“If positive, those in contact with the person are traced and depending on the level of interaction with the positive case, government can say go into self isolation.
“If that is not possible, they can be taken to Isolation Centre to be properly quarantined for 14 days,” he said.
The CMD said that the patient in the hospital’s Isolation Centre was responding to treatment.
“We are not in the business of social media stigmatisation; Confidentiality of our patient is key to us in our centre, we do not release names, our business is to care for them,” Okubor said.