By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
GOVERNOR Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state has said there was no need to shut down public schools in the state over the coronavirus pandemic as the public schools were supposed to close in the next one week.
Emmanuel who made the assertion in a text of his state broadcast on Saturday in Uyo on the COVID-19 Pandemic said his government through the state ministry of Health has put in place adequate measures to ensure prevention and control of the infection.
His words, “I bring you greetings and urge that we continue to stand in faith in the face of the global pandemic which has shaken the world to its foundations.
“In our usual proactive stance, I had, weeks ago, given the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong the marching order to be on top of the issue and an Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Task Force was immediately set up.
“This was even before the first confirmed case of Corona Virus in Nigeria was recorded. Some of the actions initiated include, creating awareness through the media, both print and electronic, jingles to sensitize the residents with relevant information on COVID-19 infection are ongoing in English, pidgin and local dialects.
“As a matter of fact, the measures put in place at our Airport is comprehensive and has no parallel anywhere in West Africa. Surveillance, prevention and infection control measures have been instituted in our hospitals.
” Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) have been distributed to all health institutions to facilitate infection prevention and control.
Screening has been instituted at various entry points to the State. We are also monitoring other entry points to the State.
“Functional ambulances and rapid response teams are on standby to move suspected or confirmed cases, if any, to the Emergency Operation Centre at Ikot Ekpene.
“The Emergency Operation and Treatment Centre (EOC), in Ikot Ekpene is ready to serve as an isolation/treatment centre to receive, and care for any confirmed case of COVID-19 infection if it occurs.
“Given the measures aforestated, it is our belief that there is no need to shut down our public schools, which are supposed to close in a week’s time. I urge you to go about your normal duties”
The governor added that other screening and infection materials including Infra-red thermometers, hand sanitizers have been procured and were being distributed to health facilities and other strategic locations in the State.
He, however, advised the residents to continue to observe the simple rules of Personal and Respiratory Hygiene such as regular handwashing with soap and running water, social distancing, avoid handshaking and keeping at least six feet away from anyone who is sneezing or coughing.