*Commends effort of security agencies at borders
By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
Akwa Ibom state government has said it has intercepted and buried a corpse smuggled into the state from Lagos State in an ambulance.
The Commissioner for health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong who disclosed this at a meeting of the State Incidence Management Committee held at the Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo at the weekend said the corpse was buried in accordance with the protocol for burial of an infected corpse.
Ukpong also disclosed that the six men bearing the corpse have, however, been quarantined pending the outcome of their test for the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19.
“The corpse was transported in an ambulance from Lagos State on night of Wednesday, May 6, 2020, and arrived Akwa Ibom State borders early hours of Thursday, May 7, 2020.
“But for the alertness of the police officers posted to our borders, the corpse would have successfully made it to its destination in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area.
“We really appreciate the point of entry team as well as the burial committee that ensured the deceased was committed to mother earth on the same day in Ikot Ebidang Village, Mkpat Enin Local government area”, Ukpong noted.
The Health Commissioner lamented that despite the inter- state lockdown, the violators successfully transported the corpse through seven states borders without being intercepted.
Ukpong said the COVID-19 Management Committee remains grateful to the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, for ensuring that adequate provisions were made to ease their work of managing the cases.
Ukpong specially applauded the security agents operating within the state and its borders for their efficiency in discharging duties in respect of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, appealed to members of the public not to discriminate against or stigmatize persons that are discharged after being treated of Covid-19 infection.
He equally urged them especially community leaders to assist and support government effort to curtail community transmission of the virus by reporting returnees in their Communities to the relevant authorities.