Governor Udom Emmanuel has again assured Akwa Ibom people that there is no need to live in panic and fear, as his administration has put in place modalities to ensure that the state maintains its clean slate against the global pandemic Corona Virus (COVID-19) disease.
In a statewide broadcast early Saturday morning, the state chief executive announced that with the measures he has put in place, there was no need to shut down public schools in the state as they are supposed to close within a week.
While urging everyone to go about their normal duties, he appealed for utmost caution and deep sense of rationality, especially from the media, in the manner of reportage of the global pandemic, adding that there is no redeeming value in causing panic in the State.
“I want to assure the public that the rumours and false information going around on social media are completely false…there is no confirmed case of COVID-19 disease in Akwa Ibom State.”
Governor Emmanuel explained that even before the first confirmed case was recorded in Nigeria, he had immediately weeks ago set up an Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Task Force with a charge on the Commissioner for Health to remain on top of the situation.
In addition, “functional ambulances and rapid response teams are on standby to move any suspected cases to the Emergency Operation Centre at Ikot Ekpene.”
He said “the Emergency Operation and Treatment Centre is ready to serve as an isolation/treatment centre to receive, and care for any confirmed case of COVID-19 infection if it occurs.”
He assured that surveillance, prevention and infection control measures have been instituted in government hospitals, while Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) have been
distributed to all health facilities to facilitate infection prevention and control.
“Other screening and infection materials have been procured and are being distributed to health facilities and other strategic locations in the State. These include Infra-red thermometers, hand sanitizers.”
He said that he had proactively put in place, unparalleled comprehensive measures at the Victor Attah International Airport for passengers arriving the state, in addition to screening which has been instituted at various entry points to the State.
He listed some of the other measures to include, creating awareness on the print, electronic and social media with jingles in English and local dialects to sensitize the residents with relevant information on COVID-19 infection.
He said there has been sensitization and awareness campaigns through Local Government Offices, Traditional Institutions, Religious bodies, educational institutions as well as in Public and Private hospitals
He however advised all to observe simple rules of Personal and Respiratory Hygiene which include regular hand washing with soap under running water, use of hand sanitizers where there is no water, coughing/sneezing into a disposable tissue paper or the cuff of the elbow where no tissue is available and proper disposal of the used tissue.
He highlighted the symptoms of the infection to include, fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, generally unwell feeling, catarrh or runny nose, sneezing and cough.
He urged that suspected cases be immediately reported to the Emergency Response Team or the state emergency numbers provided by the ministry of health, for assessment and prompt attention.
“This disease has no political coloration. It does not and will not spare those to be infected along political lines; therefore, we should put aside our political affiliations and tackle this issue as an existential threat.”