…WARNS AGAINST COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION OF COVID-19
Governor Udom Emmanuel has announced an upward salary review of 70 to 80 percent for Akwa Ibom State health workers under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), assuring of his administration’s sincerity to the welfare of health workers even in the face of daunting challenges affecting the global economy.
In a statewide electronic media interview over the weekend, Governor Emmanuel said the review was occasioned by the hazards the health workers are exposed to in the course of their duties particularly at this time of Coronavirus pandemic.
He called on workers across the state to always be understanding and considerate in their demands, considering the global pandemic and insisting that the task of building the state was a collective responsibility for all indigenes.
“I have just finished upward review of salary for health workers in the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the review we have done is between seventy to eighty percent which I signed for immediate implementation
“For workers, please this is not the time to make unnecessary demands, let’s try and be responsible in our demands as well as our actions”, he appealed.
The Governor who maintained that his administration is not leaving any stone unturned in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, warned that the state has entered a community transmission stage of the disease and emphasised the need for all to checkmate further spread of the disease by adhering to the safety guidelines.
“We have also observed high level of non-compliance by people that we meet in the street, we were thinking that the level of compliance will get high surprisingly the reverse is the case but we are appealing to the people to be safety conscious because in this case government can only provide limited steps in the entire guidelines.
“Please you have to do a lot more for your selves to determine that you don’t contact the virus and that will save us a whole lot,7 once you contact this virus, as a governor I don’t sleep”, he stated.
He hinted that testing for the Coronavirus disease would increase in the state with the activation of the second PCR laboratory awaiting certification by Nigeria Center for Disease Control , NCDC, adding that the state has taken delivery of additional three containers of medical equipments even as a three hundred capacity Oxygen Plant is being built at the General Hospital, Ituk Mbang to ensure uninterrupted supply of oxygen to at least three hundred patients at a time .?
“I am glad to inform you that the state has activated the second PCR laboratory and it is one hundred percent ready. We are awaiting NCDC certification so be rest assured that we will soon step up the testing in the state.
“Also, we’re building a first of its kind Oxygen Plant in Ituk Mbang. The Plant will be containerized and will be able to give oxygen to 300 patients at a time and with the required amount of oxygen needed by each of the patients”, he explained.
Governor Emmanuel stated that the 8pm to 6am curfew in the state has not been lifted but would be reviewed after 31st of July, explaining that the post COVID-19 situation and security of lives and property are top priority of government that needed to be managed properly.
The Governor however frowned at the flouting of regulations for public gatherings including weddings and funeral ceremonies, noting that government relaxed on the restrictions to give the people a sense of relief but regretted that the reliefs were being seriously abused .
“We have our reasons for stressing that people at such gatherings must wear facemask, be provided with hand sanitizers, maintain social distance and observe all guidelines and if it is inside the church it must not be more than 30 people.
“I tried to show a bit of understanding by not adding to the pain of people losing a loved one and being unable to bury the corpse but people take it for granted and dared government, we are doing all these because we care for your life”, he emphasized.
The Governor maintained that his government is working out modalities to facilitate the reopening of educational institutions begining with external examination classes of JSS3 and SS3 secondary schools to enable the students prepare on time for their final examinations.
He hinted that adequate arrangements have been made to decontaminate educational institutions as well as other safety measures that would guarantee the safety of students upon resumption of schools.
Governor Emmanuel said “We are also setting up some cottage factories, we believe that the first set of products that we will be rolling out of those factories will be off taken by government and shared to schools.
“As the schools re-open, we are setting up one of the best toilet roll factories using bamboo fiber which will address the hygienic needs of the students at the basic education level”, Emmanuel explained.