Udom Emmanuel, the governor of Akwa Ibom has said that none of his commissioners has contacted the dreaded COVID-19 infection, describing reports circulating online as untrue.
The governor made this known at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Uyo, during a media parley with selected Journalists in the state, on Monday, April 27, 2020.
According to Governor Emmanuel, the reports that 9 or more commissioners are secretly receiving treatment of COVID-19 in their residences were a mere figment of the imagination of its perpetrators.
“Ordinarily, at this time, I wouldn’t have loved to bring out all my commissioners to this parley, I did that to show the world that what they have been reading or hearing is untrue.
All my commissioners are here, healthy and strong”.
The governor said. About the state’s preparedness against the pandemic, the state chief executive pointed out that long before the first case of COVID-19 was announced in Nigeria, the state was enjoying a world-class health care system through the ingenuity and proactiveness of his administration.
“The COVID-19 pandemic did not meet Akwa Ibom State unprepared. Hospitals in the state were already equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and digitized long before the first case of coronavirus was mentioned in Nigeria.
“We have 407 Doctors and 2000 Nurses already on the ground in the health sector of the state. There were emergency operating centres already put in place at the Infectious Disease Hospital, IDH, Ikot Ekpene and the Ibom Specialty Hospital, ISH with 25-bed capacity equipped with modern facilities”.
He said that the state has 19 ventilators available in case they’re needed for assisted respiration, enjoys constant power supply at the Ibom Specialty Hospital and a functional Intensive Care Unit, ICU with medical professionals and Consultants constantly on call.
Justifying the recent commendation of the state by NCDC over contact tracing, the governor noted that there is no doubt about the score of 99% in contact tracing since the state has “a fully digitalized and functional situation room and call centre manned by 50 medical experts”, adding that he personally meets with the COVID-19 management team every day for updates.
Furthermore, Governor Emmanuel revealed that the COVID-19 response team works in strict adherence to NCDC procedures, adding that NCDC was in the state for two weeks to train and guide members of the team on rudiments and intricacies involved in handling COVID-19 cases even before the state started the testing process.
He reiterated that the 300-bed capacity isolation centre is almost ready, saying an agency has already donated 100 beds for the centre at Ituk Mbang General Hospital and the government will provide the remaining 200 beds.
“With all these infrastructure and manpower in place, by the end of the pandemic, health facilities in the state will be top-notch”. He enthused.
While maintaining that state government is not hiding information about COVID-19, he said the state currently has only 3 active cases of the infection however confidentiality of its victims must be guided and encouraged citizens not to panic but to report suspected cases promptly to the incident management committee vis the numbers already made available to the public.