PLSG investigates leaked Covid-19 result on social media
From Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Plateau State Government is investigating circumstances surrounding a leakage of the confidential laboratory results of some suspected COVID-19 cases carried out at the National Veterinary Research Institute Testing Centre in Vom which have been circulating in the social media.
The government expressed immense disappointment with this unprofessional act which has not only breached ethical medical standards, but also exposed the suspected cases to negative consequences including stigmatization and discrimination.
The government totally condemned the act, which regrettably, it noted, has the tendency of jeopardising its efforts of fighting the coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging the world.
In order not to allow that to happen, the government has since commenced comprehensive investigations into the matter with a view to unraveling those responsible and applying the necessary punishment.
Accordingly, the investigation will cover the entire process of the test from sample collection, investigation and result dissemination.
The government urged members of the public not to be deterred by the incident as all measures have been taken to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Meanwhile, the attention of the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom was drawn to Laboratory tests results of some COVID-19 suspected cases for Plateau State currently circulating on several platforms on the internet.
In its reaction, the management of NVRI Vom, said as a reputable and highly professional institution, which is almost 100 years of providing quality diagnostic laboratory services, it was a shock to witness the highly unethical and unprofessional action, having given the relevant authorities sufficient notice to act, and also being constantly inundated with calls from their local, national and international partners for clarifications.
“It has become necessary to say that the NVRI Vom has consistently provided high quality diagnostic and research data for many years,” the management said.
According to the management, the professionalism of the staff of the laboratory has led to their laboratory serving as regional testing centre for some highly pathogenic and zoonotic diseases like avian influenza (H5N1) and monkeypox viruses, always delivering quality services to even other African countries.
“The laboratory has served in this capacity for upwards of 15 years in our recent history without any breach in confidentiality.
“There is an established system of communication of COVID-19 diagnostic results developed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) and in line with global best practice, where patient confidentiality is paramount, and the NVRI Laboratory has strictly followed this protocol from inception.
“We have determination in providing technical support in the most professional manner while upholding the most stringent ethical values at all times.
“We remain grateful to all those who immediately called our attention to this incidence while expressing their confidence in the fact that such breach of protocol would be highly unlikely to have emanated from us.
“Your confidence is of great value to us,” the management stated.