Residents of the city of Calabar and its environ are currently in panic after an upsurge in malaria cases have been recorded in hospitals and pharmacies across the city.
This development has heightened speculations that Coronavirus may have found its way into the state, The Guardian reports.
A pharmacist, who chose to remain anonymous said that the demand for malaria drugs in their store has risen and some people are suspecting the rising case may be related to coronavirus.
“Since we started this business of drug selling 20 years ago, we have not made so many sales in malaria, vitamin c and other related drugs, as we have done this period. Some persons are suspecting COVID-19, but I don’t know.”
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Cross River State, in a press release, yesterday, also raised concerns on increasing malaria cases in Calabar saying,
“the increasing report of flu-like symptoms, respiratory symptoms and loss of smell/taste in various hospitals in the state is an indication of potential community transmission of an undetected disease fitting the epidemiologic pattern of COVID-19.”
The release, signed by the State Chairman of NMA and the Secretary, Dr. Agam E. Ayuk and Dr. Ezoke Epoke respectively, said recent research published in Nature Medicine in the United Kingdom revealed: “loss of smell (anosmia) was a stronger predictor than a fever for COVID-19,” prompting recommendations on self-isolation if detected.
We call on the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, through the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), State Government and all Stakeholders to critically appraise the COVID-19 status of the state.