Following a little spike in the number of confirmed cases in the state and need to review the lockdown order, the Akwa Ibom state government has concluded modalities to embark on mass testing of its citizens.
Addressing newsmen on Sunday, the Chairman COVID-19 Committee and Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, noted that though the state government is willing to relax the lockdown in order to heighten tough economic situation in the state, such will not be done at the expense of any single life.
He revealed that voluntary aggressive testing has become imperative because, according to him, without ascertaining the level to which the masses have been impacted by the Coronavirus, it would not be possible to relax the lockdown, which he said has just been extended by one week.
The committee chairman recalled that right from when the first case of covid-19 was reported in the state, the committee has been embarking on serious contact tracing which he said has helped forestall community transmission.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the total lockdown in Akwa Ibom State remains in place as earlier proclaimed and defaulters will only have themselves to blame if caught by the law enforcement agencies deployed around the state to enforce the lockdown order.
“As a leader, who feels for the people, Governor Emmanuel, approved that palliatives be distributed across the State. This he has done to lessen the hardship being experienced by the people of Akwa Ibom, whose socio-economic lives have been disturbed as a result of the lockdown. So far, flour, garri, and rice, all produced within the borders of Akwa Ibom State, have been distributed in about 3,000 villages. Beans were also distributed to the poorest of the poorest amongst us.
“In as much as government is eager to lift the lockdown order and allow life to return to normal, it will not do so if that will jeopardize even the life of one Akwa Ibom person. For, to endanger the life of one is to endanger the lives of all,” the committee chairman said.
He urged citizens to be aware that lockdown order was still in place and anybody caught should blame him or herself.
It can be recalled as of 19th April 2020, Akwa Ibom State had recorded 8 confirmed cases of Covid-19, a situation Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration has not left any stone unturned in the fight against the pandemic.