BY Harris Emanuel & Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
Akwa Ibom state government has stated that it would not embark on random testing of the people of the state in the fight against covid 19 pandemics as it was waste of resources.
Governor Udom Emmanuel stated this while giving an overview of COVID-19 pandemic, explained that state government was following rigidly on the guidelines by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to contain the spread of the deadly virus in the state.
Stressing that the state does not even have the resources to carry out random testing, he said, “and I keep saying that we have limited kits to test people randomly for now. So we must follow the NCDC guidelines. We have so far spent close to N1b on covid-19.
“We don’t have such resources, not even advanced economies have tested every citizen, developed nations have not been able to achieve that. That is why the NCDC set up guidelines where someone must qualify for testing.
“And it will be an absolute waste of resources if we go on random testing without any reason for that. As today, everyone in Akwa Ibom who has met the criteria of case management in accordance with NCDC guidelines has been tested.
” I challenge anyone who has experienced COVID-19 symptoms and has been refused to test, to come out and say so. We have so far collected 84 samples”.
He stated that it was not true that the state government rejected the first 5 index cases, noting that government only said the procedure by the NCDC was breached.
Emmanuel who noted that he has been inundated with calls from the citizens following a rumour that some of his commissioners have been infected and were being treated described the rumours as outright mischief and blackmail.
He said, “Some say nine, some say eleven have tested positive for COVID-19. I am here with all my exco members and they are hale and hearty. So I want the whole world to see that the foundation of all they have read in the social media in the past two weeks were based on blackmail.
“As at today we have only three active cases and their recovering rate has been marvellous. The people at the Ibom Specialist Hospital Isolation unit have all gone back to their homes.
“We have Isolation centre at Infectious Disease Hospitals, Ikot Ekpene. And before the first case, I set up an additional isolation centre at the Ibom Specialist hospital, with oxygen and everything, bought an additional 1500KVA generating set for Ibom Specialist hospital.
“By the grace of God, we have not even used more than 30 per cent of the capacity that we have set up.”
He recalled that during one of his broadcasts he had that “COVID-19 did not catch Akwa Ibom unprepared. COVID-19 met us prepared as if we knew.
“One hundred per cent of equipment that we are using today in all the health centres including the one we set up at Ibom Specialists hospital was bought before COVID-19. Even the 13 ventilators we have were all bought before COVID-19.