Rivers Commissioner for Health says the suspect had earlier exhibited mild respiratory symptoms and was placed on treatment for malaria and respiratory tract infection.
The suspect, who recently returned from the United States had reportedly gone to a private hospital in Port Hacourt and asked that he should be tested for the disease, but was referred to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
While addressing newsmen on the development, the State Commissioner for Health, Professor Chike Princewill said the sample taken had been examined, adding that the man tested negative.
He said, “Let me begin by reiterating that as at today (Saturday), Rivers State has not recorded any positive case of COVID-19. However, on the 10th of March, the Rivers State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre was notified of a suspected case of COVID-19.
“A 43-year-old male Nigerian, who had returned from the United States of America on the 22nd of February, 2020, through the Lagos International Airport, visited Port Harcourt for official duties.
“He had earlier exhibited mild respiratory symptoms and was placed on treatment for malaria and respiratory tract infection. The Rapid Response Team was quick to react, investigate and self-isolate the patient, while nasal, oropharyngeal and sputum samples were collected for analysis and dispatched to the reference laboratory in LUTH.
“As I promised to inform you, the result from the test is available and is negative. Therefore, the public should disregard every misinformation making the rounds on social media with names of individuals and facilities as untrue and totally misrepresented.
“There are ethical principles, human rights concerns and standard protocols that guide outbreak declarations and decisions. We will abide by them in keeping the state safe, healthwise. The public is further enjoined to seek correct information only from official sources. ”