Coronavirus Updates

April 19, 2020

COVID-19: Akwa Ibom adopts aggressive testing before relaxing lockdown

Akwa Ibom, Gov Udom Emmanuel

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State

BY Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

The Akwa Ibom State government Sunday said it has resolved that it was imperative to adopt aggressive testing of citizens and residents as it prepares to relax the ongoing lockdown put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Secretary to State Government (SSG) and Chairman of the state COVID-19 Committee, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem made this known yesterday during a press conference, entitled
“Preparing to open up the economy”.

Ekuwem therefore appealed to all the citizens and residents to make themselves available for the testing which would be conducted by the COVID-19 team

He stressed that as a prelude to opening up the state economy, government was not willing to take chances with the lives of the residents.

His words, “The Voluntary, aggressive testing has become imperative because, without ascertaining the level to which we have been impacted by the Coronavirus, it would not be possible to relax the lockdown, which we have just extended by one week.

“Inasmuch as government is eager to lift the lockdown order and allow life to return to normal, it will not do so if that will jeopardize even the life of one Akwa Ibom person,”

The SSG explained that government decided to open up the economy, because with the continued lockdown, social and economic activities would remain dislocated with unpleasant consequences for the people.

He commended every effort and contributions made so far to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state and specially lauded members of the COVID-19 Incident Management Committee, first line responders, the leadership of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and all other health professionals.

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“The commitment and unrelenting efforts of the noble members of the committee have helped to reduce the dangers that would have resulted from community spreading of the Coronavirus.

“I reiterated calls on the citizens and residents to remain responsible, committed and continue to cooperate with the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel as it continues to deploy pragmatic solutions to the present pandemic.

“This is no time for partisanship; this is no time for propaganda; this is no time for mischievous criticism; this is a time for all hands to be on deck. This is a time we must all join hands to fight a common enemy, COVID19, that is threatening the human race”,

On his part, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong debunked speculations that Dr. Dominic Essien died of Coronavirus and negligence by the state COVID 19 team, saying the said medical doctor died during treatment at the intensive health care facilities in the State.

Ukpong explained that the deceased had a 30years history of respiratory illness and was treating himself in his private clinic before being brought to the State health facility at a very critical condition.

He added that since the result of his sample sent was being expected, it would be wrong to draw conclusions on the actual cause of his demise.

Recall that Dr Dominic Essien, a private practitioner and lecturer at the University of Utah, reportedly died last Thursday afternoon at the Ibom Specialist Hospital (ISH) after showing symptoms of COVID-19 infection for one week.

Vanguard Nigeria News