The Akwa Ibom State Government has debunked the rumour making round that there are cases of coronavirus in the state, stressing that the news is fake.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, on Friday at a news conference in Uyo dispelled the rumour and warned the public against the spread of rumour on coronavirus in the state.
“I want to assure the public that rumours and false information going round in the social media about some Chinese and corona virus in Akwa lbom is completely false.
“I am confirming to you now, that there is no confirmed case of COVID-19 infection in Akwa lbom as I speak to you,” he said.
He, however, said that in spite of this, state government was leaving no stone unturned in its bid to stem the threat of the disease as strong surveillance, prevention and infection control measures have been instituted in hospitals and other public places in the state.
The commissioner said that government, through the Ministry of Health had, before the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, initiated measures to prevent the outbreak and contain the infection in the event of an outbreak in the state.
According to him, the state government has created awareness through the media, both prints and electronics, jingles to sensitize the residents with relevant information on COVID-19 infection.
He said that the awareness was ongoing in the state in English language and vernacular.
Ukpong said sensitisation and awareness campaigns had been taken to local government chairmen, traditional rulers, religiuos leaders and management of public and private hospitals.
He said that other screening and injection materials had been procured and were being distributed to health facilities and other strategic locations in the state.
“Emergency Response Team of the Ministry has been activated and local government chairmen have been directed to set up and fund Preparedness and Response Committees in their local government areas to coordinate response to COVID-19 infection in collaboration with the state Ministry of Health.
“We are currently about to hold training sessions for these committees and will participate in Town Hall meetings in the three Senatorial Districts on this matter.
“Functional ambulances and rapid response teams are on standby to move suspected or confirmed cases, if any, to the Emergency Operation Centre at lkot Ekpene,” he said.
Ukpong said that the Emergency Operation and Treatment Centre (EOC), in Ikot Ekpene, was ready to receive and care for any confirmed case of COVID-19 infection if it occured.
He called on the people of Akwa Ibom to report suspected cases to the Ministry of Health.
The commissioner listed fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, generally feeling unwell (malaise), common cold (catarrh or runny nose, sneezing, cough) as possible symptoms of the virus.
He advised those with such symptoms to self-isolate and invite Emergency Response Team for assessment and follow-up.
The commissioner said that the state Ministry of Health was in constant communication with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Ukpong added that the Directorate of Public Health Services had received sample collection kits from NCDC and were updating the management of the ministry on global, national and state COVID-19 data and information daily.