Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, has advised the people in the state to perish the thought that the dreaded coronavirus would not survive the intense heat in Africa and cause a lot of havoc as experienced in Europe and Asia.
Rather Ukpong has advised the people to continue to take all recommended precautionary measures to avoid contracting the virus which has the capacity of surviving in both temperate and tropical zones.
He said the reason the pandemic has not so far affected many people in Africa is because Africans are not prone to frequent travelling across continents like the Europeans and the Americans.
‘I don’t know how many of us have travelled outside Nigeria or Africa in the past one year. That is not the case in Europe. There, people travel a lot, for business and pleasure.
“If you take a look at the cruise ships, you can count how many blacks are there, whereas the whites see holidaying in the ships as a way of life.
“Covid-19 has affected Ivory Coast; it has been experienced in Kenya; it has affected Ghana. And Accra is one of the hottest places in Africa.
“So let’s continue to protect ourselves by abiding by the social distance directives, washing our hands with running water which I believed every family can afford by erecting a drum with a tap and filling it with water, using hand alcohol-based sanitizers, and using masks if we can afford.
“But let it be stressed here that drinking alcohol will not prevent the disease from attacking an individual that has been exposed to it. And don’t take chloroquine except recommended by your doctor.
“Chloroquine still remains a dangerous drug to treat malaria. That is why it was banned; it was proved to have caused blindness and deafness,” Ukpong said.
The commissioner still maintained that there was no confirmed case of Covid-19 in the state so far but that the state government was fully prepared for any eventually with regard to the pandemic.
“I want to assure the public that rumours and false information going around social media about some Chinese and coronavirus in Akwa lbom State is completely false. For emphasis, let me state here, categorically and unambiguously, that there is no confirmed case of Covid-19 infection in Akwa lbom State.
“As a proactive government, even before the first confirmed case in Nigeria was reported, Akwa lbom State Government had, through the Ministry of Health, initiated measures to prevent the outbreak and contain the infection in the event of an outbreak in Akwa lbom State. Some of the actions initiated included: creating awareness through the media both print and electronic,” Ukpong said.