The Akwa Ibom State Government has appealed to everyone to henceforth voluntarily make themselves available for testing by the COVID-19 team in the state.
In a press briefing Sunday afternoon in Uyo, titled “PREPARING TO OPEN UP THE ECONOMY”, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem said, “as a prelude to opening up our state economy, the state government, not willing to take chances with the lives of the citizens, has resolved to adopt aggressive testing of citizens and residents in Akwa Ibom State.
He explained that 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.”
He agreed that with the lockdown in place, social and economic activities remain dislocated with unpleasant consequences for the people.
This he maintained, propelled Governor Emmanuel as a compassionate leader, to approve that palliatives be distributed to lessen the hardship being experienced by the people of Akwa Ibom, whose socio-economic lives have been disturbed by lockdown.
He reasoned further that “in as much 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,” adding that danger to one life meant danger to the lives of all.
While commending everyone on their efforts so far to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, he specifically lauded members of the COVID-19 Incident Management Committee, first line responders, the leadership of the Nigeria Medical Association and all other medical professionals in the state.
Dr Ekuwem maintained that Governor Udom Emmanuel had put modalities in place even before the initial reported cases in the state, and that, “the State COVID-19 Committee has increased the tempo and depth of its activities since the first cases in Akwa Ibom State were confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).”
He explained that vigorous contact tracing efforts have been embarked upon and suspected cases attended to as deemed appropriate.
“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.
He reiterated the call on all “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 to 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”, he concluded.
Read Also: How to slow the spread of CoronaVirus
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health Dr Dominic Ukpong debunked the speculations that a recent death of a medical doctor, Dr. Dominic Essien, was caused by 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.
He 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 facility at a very critical condition, and added that since the result from his samples sent was being expected, it would be wrong to draw conclusions on the actual cause of his demise.
Government House, Uyo