Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, says some patients infected with COVID-19 “disappear” after testing positive to avoid going into isolation.
The minister disclosed this during the presidential task force briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the attitude is common among asymptomatic patients.
Ehanire said some patients dispute the test results which leads to the retaking of tests on some occasions.
The minister added that such patients have made it difficult for contact tracing to be effective.
“It has been said that 80% of those who have COVID-19 would have no symptoms. And those who have no symptoms will not believe you that they are positive because they look at TV and see people collapsing, they see intensive care, and there is nothing wrong with them,” he said.
“So you have a problem trying to convince them that they are positive. And you’re going to keep them in isolation not because they are sick but because you want to keep them away from infecting others.
“So you do have that issue that people dispute their results and in some cases, you have to do the result two or three times and they still don’t believe you. Some people can be asymptomatic and they are working around but you don’t know.
“Again, you also have the issue of people who test and they are positive but they have no symptoms. They think you are going to look for them, they run and go into hiding or they disappear.
“Those who think you’re going to trace them make it difficult because they don’t want to go into isolation.”
As of Wednesday, Nigeria recorded 11,166 confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of which 3,329 patients have recovered while 315 persons have died.
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