Joe Effiong, Uyo
Controversy has been injected into the sensational declaration of five confirmed coronavirus cases in Akwa Ibom as the state government has described the declaration as fake news.
Akwa Ibom until midday of Wednesday was one of the states with zero cases of the dreaded COVID-19, only to be confronted with five alleged positive cases in one fell swoop in the evening.
But the state government through the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, has rubbished the results of the test saying the state never knew about it just as the director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was equally unaware.
“We observed a disturbing breach in the test and reporting procedure; Akwa Ibom State Government only heard about the test results in the news; the Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was not aware of the reported result announcement.
“All five reported positive test cases have been contacted and they have shown no COVID-19 symptoms, while the tests were being processed in NCDC-approved test facilities, all suspected cases were held in isolation; several sample batches have been previously sent for testing from Akwa Ibom State and they all returned negative.
“Owing to the irregularities observed in the testing and reporting procedure, health care professionals in Akwa Ibom State have called for an immediate reconfirmation test on the five reported cases; the results will be made public; following due process,” Ukpong said in a press statement he personally signed on Thursday.
He explained that health care professionals in the state had also appealed to the NCDC to ensure that all future tests should be conducted following due process in order to maintain continued confidence in the process.
While appealing to the residents and citizens of the state to remain calm and observe all personal and respiratory hygiene guidelines earlier issued as well as adhere to the social distancing prescriptions, the health boss stressed that the enforcement committee of the Quarantine and Restriction of Movement Regulations 2020 had been mandated to see to the full operation of the provisions of the regulations.
“The Incident Management committee will continue to meet on a daily basis to review and analyse the situation while updates will be provided as and when due,” Ukpong said.
Daily Sun has learned, however, that the five persons confirmed positive had been in isolation at the Ibom Multi-specialty Hospital, Uyo, while Governor Udom Emmanuel would make a statewide broadcast on the matter in the evening.