Joe Effiong, Uyo
Recent positive test for COVID-19 by 16 members of Akwa State House Press Corps has continued to instil fear in staff and other members of the state house.
Fourteen journalists, all members of Government House press corps, tested positive for the virus last month and subsequently quarantined and relocated to isolation centre at the Ibom Specialist Hospital for treatment.
Similarly, some other journalists, two of whom were from the Correspondents Chapel, who had contacts with members of the press corps were duly followed up to their private residences for a period of two weeks.
Daily Sun gathered from a government house source, that Governor Udom Emmanuel, jolted by the effect of the virus within the press corps, had ordered a massive testing of other units within the government house.
“It should shock you that within two days, we recorded 17 and 18 cases respectively. Both domestic staff, protocol, security and others working in the government house were; on the order of the governor, subjected to the test. We don’t know how many of them were positive, if 16 of less than 30 person were positive.
“These ones are close to the governor and have the opportunity to be tested and treated free, what happens to those who have no such opportunity? Our people may just begin to die massively. We need to do more testing, we need to test those not close to the corridors of power, else we are wasting our time,” the source said.
There have been speculations that some of the commissioners in Emmanuel’s cabinet had tested positive to the dreaded disease forcing the governor, during a media parley, to parade all commissioners before newsmen to put a lie to the claim.
The government house source in reaction said members of the press corps throughout the lockdown, worked closely with members of the state executive council, “how then did they all test positive for COVID-19 if the people they worked closely with were as clean as claimed?” the source queried.
When contacted, the Commissioner for Information, Charles Udoh, neither denied nor confirmed the scare of COVID-19 among staff in government house, rather he said key people in the government media team, the state incidence committee and principal staff of the government house have not tested positive.