COVID-19: A’Ibom Government House Under Siege

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File photo: Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel making his remarks at January edition of Government House Prayer Meeting at Later House Chapel, Uyo

*more staff test positive

By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo

Palpable fear has griped workers at Akwa Ibom State Government House due to the growing spread of CoronaVirus a.k.a COVID-19, just as more staff have tested positive 

Last month, 16 members of the government House Press Corps were tested positive to the virus and were all relocated to the isolation centre at the Ibom Specialist Hospital for treatment.

Other journalists who had contacts with members of the press corps were duly followed up for a period of two weeks.

A government house source who spoke with newsmen in Uyo on Monday on condition of anonymity said Governor Udom Emmanuel, moved by the effect of the virus within the press corps 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 government house were, on the order of His Excellency subjected to test, and most of them turned out positive”. The source said

The source expressed concerns that the alarming rate of infected persons within the government house, to a very great extent, revealed how unsafe the entire state may be, except massive testing is carried out to separate the affected ones for immediate treatment.

“These ones are close to the Governor and have the opportunity to be tested and treated, 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 who are not close to the corridors of power”, the source further stated.

It could also be recalled that one Kufre Carter, a social network blogger in the state was arrested and detained for alleging that nine Commissioners in the state were infected with Covid-19. Following such allegation, Governor Udom Emmanuel during a media chat paraded all Commissioners before newsmen to falsify the broadcaster’s claims.

The government house source in reaction to such experience queried; “members of the press corps throughout the lockdown worked closely with members of the state executive council, how then did most of them test positive to Covid-19 if the people they worked closely with were as clean as claimed”.

The state commissioner for information, Mr. Charles Udoh, when contacted did not deny that more staff of the Government House could have tested positive to Covid-19.

Udoh however said that key persons in the State Incidence Committee and Principal Staff of the Government House have not tested positive.

Among the list, are, “Ekerette Udoh, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor is not positive, the Secretary to the State Government is not positive and these are the people that we meet everyday.

“Dr Akpabio, the Governor’s personal physician and Dr Nathaniel Adiakpan, the Permanent Secretary Government House are not positive and as far as I am concerned, no commissioner is positive,” Udoh said

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