In what appeared to be a tacit acceptance of the announcement by the National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC), the Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel, has said that confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state are mostly healthcare professionals.
Mr Emmanuel said the affected persons have been moved to the isolation centres in the state “for proper management”.
The governor who disclosed this in a state-wide broadcast on Thursday said the state has started the process of tracing people who may have come in contact with the affected persons.
The NCDC on Wednesday announced five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom.
The Akwa Ibom government, through a statement issued on Thursday by its Commissioner for Health, Dominic Ukpong, questioned the NCDC’s announcement, saying that the test results could not have been positive.
The government requested that another test be conducted on the cases.
Governor Emmanuel, in his Thursday broadcast, announced complete lockdown of the state for 14 days to enable health workers to carry out the contact-tracing successfully.
“There will be no movement of persons, except those on essential duties who must carry a proper means of identification on them at all times. All business premises, markets, shops, motor parks and offices except grocery shops and pharmacies, must remain closed during this period,” the governor said.
Mr Emmanuel said his administration is prepared to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
“A little over a week ago, I had cause to address you concerning the state of affairs in our dear state as it has to do with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic across the globe.
“I told you at that time that there was no confirmed case of COVID-19 in the state. That information at that time was correct, we had a few suspected cases that showed symptoms of the disease and had taken samples and sent them to the approved NCDC testing facilities and they all came out at that time negative.
“However, just last night we watched on the news that five cases have been confirmed positive by the NCDC.
“Thankfully, this information, sad as it is, did not meet us unprepared. Just two days ago, I inspected facilities at one of the isolation centres we have prepared for possible cases such as now. This is in addition to the already existing one in Ikot Ekpene. And I can assure you that other facilities are being prepared for similar use should the need for it arises.”