Akwa Ibom state government has said that it has received only little support from the Presidential Task Force and Nigeria Center for Disease Control in the fight against the spread of deadly coronavirus in the state.
Chairman of COVID-19 Management Committee and Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, made the disclosure while receiving the NCDC team on an inspection tour in the state.
According to him, the state government was doing everything regarding the fight against COVID-19 alone without support from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the NCDC.
“We’ve received very little from the NCDC and the PTF. What you’ve seen in all the places you visited are from the vision of His Excellency, the Governor and the resources of Akwa Ibom. This is because the governor believes that we can’t have an ailing and sickly population. So, take our words back to the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force that Akwa Ibom people are doing a lot on their own and that we need a lot of support and encouragement from them,” Ekuwem said.
He explained that the state has already taken the necessary measures, including the acquisition of medical equipment to hospitals in the state even before the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
Ekuwem who expressed appreciation for the work the agency and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 were doing for the nation, commended Governor Emmanuel for his support to the COVID-19 Incident Management Committee in the state.
The State Incident Manager and Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, reaffirmed the commitment of doctors and healthcare workers in the state to defeat the dreaded virus in the state
Earlier, Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, commended Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for being proactive in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the state, describing the Emergency Operations Centre in the state as one of the best in the country.
Ihekweazu, who gave the commendation on Saturday when he led NCDC officials and a delegation of World Health Organisation to the state to inspect facilities on ground for the containment of coronavirus, said he was satisfied with facilities the state has put in place, noting that the facilities have really helped in curtailing spread of the disease.
He said the aim of the visit was also to advise, identify areas of support and help the state invest its resources well for the protection of Akwa Ibom people against the pandemic.
The NCDC boss pledged the readiness of the agency to offer support to the state government in the area of Emergency Operations Centre which will officially be open on June 23, 2020, laboratory and clinical services and training and mentoring of state officials involved in the containment of the pandemic.
He disclosed that NCDC will send Personal Protective Equipment (PPES) to Akwa Ibom state government in no distant time.
Ihekweazu commended the healthcare workers in the state for their sacrifices and charged them to continue to be more committed in the discharge of their duties.
He said he was looking forward to seeing Akwa Ibom receiving COVID-19 samples from other states to carry out tests in its laboratory and be a leader in infection prevention, detection and control for the South-South region in particular and the country in general.
Ihekweazu said the state is blessed with competent human resources to fight the disease as exemplified in quick response to COVID-19 cases and urged the state not to relent in its “superlative performance.”
“It’s really heartwarming for me to be in Akwa Ibom State. We’re very satisfied with what we’ve seen. I’m leaving Akwa Ibom really satisfied that we have a strong foundation in healthcare delivery,” NCDC boss stated.
The facilities inspected were Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), Uyo; Isolation Centre at Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo; Infectious Disease Hospital, Ikot Ekpene; Isolation Centre and Category 3 Virology and Clinical Laboratory at Methodist General Hospital, Ituk Mbang, Uruan Local Government Area.