Akwa Ibom Extends Lockdown By Three Days

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The Akwa Ibom State Government has extended the Quarantine and Movement Restriction Order by three days.

The Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, who disclosed this to journalists yesterday, said the three -days extension was to enable it review the status of the spread of Coronavirus in the State.

The SSG’s clarification brought to an end speculation that government would lift the restrictions on Friday (today) after the expiration of the one -week extension it declared last Thursday.

Ekuwem, who said that further updates on the lockdown would be given on Monday, explained the decision was taken in the interest of the health of the people given the precarious situation the state and country has found itself.

“In view of the critical situation we are in as a nation and state, although it could have been desirable to call off the lockdown at this juncture but given that we must continue to ensure continuous safety of our citizens, the most ideal thing to do now is to continue with the lockdown until Monday, April 27, 2020 where we will provide an update on the lockdown in a press briefing.

“To this end everyone is advised to cooperate with the government and the security agencies in the bid to curb community spreading of the disease,” the SSG explained.

The state government, he said, has deployed enormous financial and material resources to ensure the pandemic is kept at bay for as much as possible.

“So far, only nine cases have been confirmed in our state. Thankfully, we have had three reversed to negative and have been discharged. Although we still have five active cases and one dead, the sincerity of our government in the fight against the pandemic as not gone on noticed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

“In a recent publication by the national body, our contact-tracing scored 99%. Within a short period of time, the state government has a fully kitted Emergency Operation Centre, which comprises Call Centre, Situation Room and Isolation Centre at the Ibom Specialty Hospital,” he said.

Ekuwem maintained that the state isolation centres in Ikot Ekpene and at the Ibom Specialty Hospital have been in top shape to accommodate any eventualities, the administration has intensified efforts at completing the 300-bed isolation centre at the General Hospital, Ituk Mbang and de-contaminated major towns in the area.

He implored healthcare professionals to do all they can to protect and avail themselves of the facilities provided by government to handle the Covid-19 pandemic and other medical challenges.

Ekuwem expressed sadness that people who never needed palliatives partook from the food items meant to ameliorate the hardship of the most vulnerables

” May I therefore advise that anyone who is able to provide for himself and family at such time as this, should for the sake of humanity steer clear of such items, so that those who truly need the items can have more to themselves.” He said.

It would be recalled that the three weeks cummulative lockdown order earlier issued by the state government was to end on Friday this week.