Gentlemen of the press, you will recall that just two days ago, His Excellency, our dear Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, who is the leader of the fight against the Coronavirus in the state, had an interactive session with you, where he gave comprehensive explanation to a number of issues concerning COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom State. I am sure you all left that parley satisfied with the efforts of the administration so far.
At that event, he gave his words that within available resources, no effort would be spared in the fight against COVID-19. In line with the stated determination of the administration, let me once again brief you on our unrelenting efforts at containing the dreaded pandemic.
We have continued to maintain our 24-hourly Call Centre in the Situation Room. We urge members of the public to continue to perform their social responsibilities of giving relevant information that may be useful in helping our state win the war against the pandemic. We all must realize that at a time like this, we all must be our brother’s keeper, so we owe it a responsibility to our state by ensuring that every suspected case is reported through a call to the centre.
In our case management and infection prevention, we have continued to make reasonable strides. So far, our case summary is as follows
- [ ] No. of Cases (Lab Confirmed) : 12
- [ ] No. of Active Cases : 2
- [ ] No. Discharged : 9
- [ ] No. Of Deaths : 1
As you are already aware, our contact tracing efforts have been acknowledged by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). We are however not resting on our oars. We have continued to go after every suspected case within our domain.
A concomitant effort to contact tracing is the decontamination of public spaces in our major cities and health facilities, even as we intensify point of entry screening in our air, land and sea borders across the state.
You will recall that I mentioned in my last briefing that the palliative items comprising garri, rice, flour and beans have been distributed to about 3,000 villages across the state. May I bring to your notice that non-indigenes have also benefitted from the palliatives approved for distribution by His Excellency. In addition, all first responders in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and major groups, faith based organizations and orphanages, etc have equally been reached out to.
My friends in the journalism profession, let me acknowledge the continued support of well meaning individuals, groups and corporate organizations. We call on other spirited individuals and groups to also lend their support as much as they can.
Let me also seize this opportunity to inform you that the School on Radio programme, which I mention in my last briefing and which His Excellency also reiterated, has commenced. This initiative, intended to keep our students busy, especially those preparing for their final examinations in the junior and senior secondary school categories has received commendations from the public.
Gentlemen of the press, I am sure you all know that in a war situation, no troop can afford to be divided, if it intends to win. It is saddening that in spite of the giants strides we have recorded so far in the fight against this pandemic, some unscrupulous elements in our state have constituted themselves into clogs in the wheels of our progress. With the social media as their tool, propaganda against the administration has become their past time.
Let me urge these elements and their sponsors to turn a new leaf and desist from peddling rumours and falsehood about the administration and its functionaries. They must realize that whatever decision taken is in the best interest of the people. Government, at all times, reserve the right to deploy its functionaries as deemed necessary for optimum performance and result.
You will also recall that our dear Governor noted that this pandemic is no respecter of persons, positions, religion, tribe or political affiliation.
To this end, emotions and unnecessary sentiments should have no place if we must win this war. Therefore, we must continue to observe basic hygiene, maintain social distancing and respect other safety procedures as stipulated by appropriate authorities.
In as much as we identify with the hardship being experienced by our people, we must also acknowledge that the threat of the Coronavirus is still with us hence he are constrained to continue the enforcement of lockdown regulations.
We have also set up a post economic reconstruction Commitee to recommend implementable strategies that would help jumpstart the economy of our state.
We enjoin all citizens and residents to join hands in our fight against COVID19. It’s not time for the pursuit of selfish interests to the detriment of our collective interest as a people.
Thank you and God Bless!
Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem
Secretary to the State Government
/Chairman COVID-19 Management Team
April 29, 2020