By: PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Following the confirmation of five suspected cases of the dreaded Corona Virus in Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel has announced a total cessation of movements and prohibition of all events of any nature for 14 days in the state.
This is to enable a thorough process of contact tracing to identify those who may have been exposed to the five confirmed victims.
In a statewide broadcast Thursday evening, Governor Emmanuel explained that the COVID-19 suspects, mostly healthcare professionals who are in good health with no symptoms, have been moved to the state isolation centres for proper management.
“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.
Governor Emmanuel insisted that the relevant security agencies have been briefed to ensure strict compliance with the directive.
Although he admitted that no nation was 100% ready for Covid 19, he however assured that the disease has not met the state unprepared.
“Just 2 days ago, I inspected facilities at one of the isolation centres we have prepared for possible cases such as this. 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 arise.”
He warned against panic and fear, and enjoined the cooperation of all rather than resort to blame games.
“What we need to do is to stay at home, practice social distancing and good personal hygiene, provide accurate and useful information to health workers whenever necessary.”
He said the virus can be contained if movements are restricted and advised anyone experiencing any of the symptoms of the illness or who has useful information on potential carriers, to immediately call the available emergency numbers.
While admitting that the total lockdown decision was a very tough one, the Governor however said it was the most logical step to be taken and assured that God will rescue the state from the evil plague.
“I can promise you that we will leave no stone unturned in the fight against this pandemic. We may have been bruised but we will not be broken. While hoping for the best, we will prepare for the worst, but be rest assured that whatever that worst may be, it will not break us.”