Coronavirus: Don’t panic, Akwa Ibom governor tells residents

Udom Emmanuel, governor of Akwa Ibom, has asked residents of Akwa Ibom not to panic over coronavirus, saying his administration has put in place modalities to ensure that the state maintains its clean slate against the global pandemic.

In a statewide broadcast, the governor announced that with the measures he has put in place, there is 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.

“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,” he said.

Emmanuel said before the first confirmed case was recorded in Nigeria, he had 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.

“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.

“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.”

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He said he has 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 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,” he said.

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