By Chioma Onuegbu & Harris Emmanuel
UYO – Akwa Ibom state government has announced the extension of ongoing total lockdown put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state w till Monday April, 27, 2020.
Secretary to State Government (SSG) Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem who made this known yesterday while providing newsmen with update on the COVID-19 fight in the state, urged the citizens and residents to continue to cooperate with government in its effort to curb the spread of the virus.
His words, “Gentlemen of the press, it is my pleasure to once again bring you up to speed in our collective fight against COVID-19, the present pandemic that has kept the entire global community on its toes over the last few months.
” In view of the critical situation that we are in as a nation and as a state, although it would have been desirable to call off the lockdown at this juncture, but given that we must ensure continuous safety of our citizens, the most ideal thing for now is to continue with the lockdown until Monday, April 27, 2020 where we will provide an update on the lockdown at a press briefing.
“To this end, everyone is advised to continue to cooperate with the government and the security agencies in the bid to curb community spreading of the virus”
The SSG who is also Chairman of COVID-19 Management Committee noted that even as the state has felt, directly and indirectly the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, that the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel had been on top of the situation, providing leadership and giving directions in the fight to mitigate ispread and effects of the virus.
He expressed gratitude to God that while the number of cases of Coronavirus infection in different parts of the world and even in some parts of the country continued to rise, the situation in the state had been minimal.
“The low incidence level of Coronavirus has not been without efforts and pragmatic inputs from the leadership of the state. So far, only 9 cases have been confirmed in our state. Thankfully, we have had three reversed to negative and have been discharged.
“The three reversed cases of Coronavirus are evidenced of the quality of healthcare available in our isolation centres. Although we still have five active cases and one dead, the sincerity of our government in the fight against the pandemic as not gone on noticed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
“In a recent publication by the national body, our contact-tracing scored 99%. The Governor, working with the COVID-19 Management Committee, the Incidence Management Committee, health workers and other stakeholders, has deployed resources, financial and material to ensure the pandemic is kept at bay for as much as possible.
“Within a short period of time, the state government has a fully kitted Emergency Operation Centre, which comprises Call Centre, Situation Room and Isolation Centre at the Ibom Specialty Hospital.
“Although, our isolation centres in Ikot Ekpene and at the Ibom Specialty Hospital are in top shape to accommodate any eventualities, the administration has intensified efforts at completing the 300-bed isolation centre at the General Hospital, Ituk Mbang.A few days back, our dear Governor visited the site to assess the level of work done so far”
He, however, implored health care professionals who are the first responders to the COVID-19 pandemic, to do all they could, to protect themselves, adding, “We have followed with deep concern, the spate of self-care and administration of drugs by some of our Physicians which has led to unpleasant consequences.
“We wish to advise our healthcare professionals to avail themselves of the facilities provided by government to handle the COVID-19 pandemic and other medical challenges”,