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FG speaks on new COVID variant

The Ministry of Health has distanced itself from a memo which purportedly originated from the National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state.

The memo alerted workers about an outbreak of a new variant of COVID-19.

“With the new variant, BA.4 and BA.5 COVID delta, there is no cough, no fever. It’s a lot of joint pain, headache, neck and upper back pain, general weakness, loss of appetite and pneumonia,” the notice reads.

“Sore throat that resembles strep throat, and of course, more virulent and with a higher mortality rate. It takes less time to go to extremes. Sometimes without symptoms.

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

“Do not keep this information to yourself; share it as much as you can, especially with your friends.”

However, a statement issued on Friday by Patricia Deworitshe, spokesperson of the minister of health, said the information contained in the memo was a fabrication.

Deworitshe said Tunji Alausa, minister of state for health and social welfare, met with the management of the Fistula Centre over the purported memo.

“The information from the purported internal memo emanating from National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki, in which the Head of Clinical Services warned the staff to take caution as the Covid-19 was on the prowl again, cannot be sustained and therefore not true,” the statement reads.

“The public should be informed that no new Covid-19 case or infection has been detected in our Centre. No new Covid-19 patient has been presented or diagnosed in our Centre for the past one year.

“There is no rise in Covid-19 cases in Abakaliki or in Ebonyi State in general.

“The information contained in the said internal memo was a product of unverified and unsubstantiated flying news from social media.

“The general public is therefore advised to disregard the memo and its content.

“It is only the Nigerian Centre for Disease and Control (NCDC) that is statutorily empowered to release information on such matters as Covid-19.”

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