AKWA IBOM STATE COVID-19 UPDATE : 5.0 BEING A TEXT OF THE PRESS BRIEFING BY THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT & CHAIRMAN, COVID-19 COMMITTEE, DR EMMANUEL EKUWEM ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2020
Gentlemen of the press,
As His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel promised that no stone will be left unturned in the efforts to safeguard Akwa Ibom State from the Coronavirus pandemic, otherwise known as COVID-19, that has brought the entire global community to a near standstill, I have called you once again to apprise you of developments in this regard in our State.
As you are aware, even before the first five index cases were reported in our State, through the foresightedness of our dear Governor, Akwa Ibom had put in place, a comprehensive Incident Management Committee.
I am happy to report that through the noble undertakings of the committee, the situation in our state has been effectively managed.
SITUATION ROOM/CALL CENTRE
In our strategic management of the COVID-19 pandemic, communication with all stakeholders has been very key. As such, we have maintained an effective and 24-hourly Call Centre in the Akwa Ibom COVID-19 Situation Room.
It is heartwarming that stakeholders, including citizens have continued to call in to make enquiries, report suspected cases or offer suggestions to the incident committee.
Let me acknowledge that although, majority of the calls so far received were not COVID-19 related, yet none was taken for granted, as they have prompted follow-ups and necessary actions in different directions for the good of Akwa Ibom people.
Given that the State Government is steadfast and resolute to ensure that Akwa Ibom does not become ravaged by the virus, we call on all stakeholders not to relent in calling in and availing the Call Centre of any information that may be germane to our staying ahead in the fight against the pandemic.
CASE MANAGEMENT/INFECTION PREVENTION
While the five initial index cases in our state were still being attended to by our team of health professionals in one of the isolation centres, additional four samples were sent for testing alongside confirmation test for the initial five cases.
The test results confirmed three of the initial five cases to be negative, while one of the four new samples tested positive.
Thus, as we speak, Akwa Ibom has only three positive cases of Coronavirus. The confirmed negative cases were discharged earlier this afternoon.
So far, the contact tracing efforts of the committee has led to the identification of 66 persons who have had contacts with the five initial confirmed cases. While the number of positive cases has reduced, it is not yet uhuru in the fight against the virus. We must remain resolute and unrelenting in our efforts.
Therefore, this development notwithstanding, we have continued to carry out point of entry screening at various border points around the state. This is in addition to the spirited effort of decontamination of health facilities and public spaces by the state government, in collaboration with well-meaning corporate organizations operating in the state. So far, the Victor Attah International Airport, several markets in Uyo and a number of hospital facilities have been sterilized.
It is pertinent to mention that a good number of individuals, groups and corporate organizations have demonstrated their support for the administration’s effort to curb the pandemic through donations of cash and materials, including ambulance and other medical facilities and consumables.
You will recall that when I briefed you last, I mentioned that His Excellency the Governor had approved relief materials for distribution to about 3,000 villages across the state. Beginning from Easter Monday, lorry loads of garri, flour, rice and beans, produced within Akwa Ibom State, started leaving warehouses for onward delivery to local government headquarters. Therefore, I am glad to intimate you that as we speak, the distribution of relief materials to our people ongoing and will be completed within the week.
Permit me to reiterate, that these relief materials would not have come this easy, but for the visionary leadership of our Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel. When he expressed his desire to ensure that 80% of food stuffs consumed in the state is produced within the borders of the state, not many people understood his commitment.
Today, we bear testimony to his foresightedness, purposeful and visionary leadership, as this volume, variety and quality of rice, flour, garri and beans would definitely not have been easy to bring into Akwa Ibom at this time of global pandemic.
Consequently, as we continue our unwavering support for the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel, in the task of engendering the Akwa Ibom of our dream, I ask that we remember at all times that the Coronavirus knows no religion, tribe or political party.
It is a fight we all must fight and win together as a people. We must continue to observe basic hygiene, maintain social distancing and respect other safety procedures as stipulated by appropriate authorities.
Please, stay safe!
Thank you all.
SHOWCASING THE AKWA IBOM STATE COVID-19 SITUATION ROOM AND CALL CENTER
The Akwa Ibom State Covid-19 Situation Room and Call Center; which is part of the proactive measures put in place to mitigate against the surge of the deadly pandemic in the state, has remained the one-stop shop for rapid and effective response to the related issues / cases.
With over 50 medical experts working on a 24/7 shift using state-of-the-art telecommunications and information technology facilities, the situation room has gradually witnessed an upsurge in traffic despite an initial lull. It could easily be adjudged to be one of best of such facilities currently in Nigeria.
Together we can win the fight and keep Akwa Ibom State free of COVID-19!