The Third Wave: A call for caution and vigilance:
The global covid-19 pandemic has continued to ravage the world since its emergence in 2019. In AkwaIbom state the first cases were diagnosed on April 1st 2020. Since then, His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel had put in place proactive measures to curb the spread of the virus.
These include the establishment of the State Covid-19 Management Committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and the Incident Management Committee to oversee and coordinate the overall response; the establishment of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the construction of the 300-bed Infectious Diseases Control Center and the molecular laboratory, awareness creation on Covid-19, provision Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers and many more.
2.While these measures had largely kept the number of cases in our climes to the barest minimum, evidence the world over now suggests a third wave of the pandemic hence the need for this press briefing and a call for caution and vigilance by every citizen of our state. Over the past two weeks, cases of covid-19 within the state have risen from five (5) to one hundred and fifty six (156). This increase, when considered in the light of the new Delta variant of the virus, which has now been isolated in Nigeria, calls for a renewal of our collective effort at preventing the spread of Covid-19 virus infection in our state. Accordingly, the government calls on all citizens of the state to obey all Covid-19 guidelines and protocols earlier enunciated by both the government of the state and the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC), to wit:
❖ Use face mask and use it properly ensuring that both the mouth and nose are properly covered
❖ Wash our hands regularly with soap and clean running water
❖ Use appropriate alcohol-based hand sanitizer
❖ Ensure social distancing of not less than one meter at all times. Avoid overcrowded areas especially indoors. All non-essential social gatherings should be reconsidered with the view to drastically reducing the scale and scope or suspending same at this time. These include: Burials, weddings, birthday celebrations etc.
❖ Social distancing in tricycles and in Mini-buses and wearing of face masks are to be strictly complied with.
❖ Religious houses (churches and mosques) should run at half capacity and services should last not more than one (1) hour.
❖ Hotels, sit-outs, clubs, schools, transport companies, supermarkets, Banks, pharmacies should all ensure compliance with all Covid-19 preventive measures in their facilities.
❖ Report any suspicious symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty in breathing and body pains and weakness to the nearest Covid-19 facility or use the following help lines 08000275664, 08189411111.
❖ All Covid-19 monitoring mechanisms are hereby reactivated to ensure strict compliance with Covid-19 guidelines and protocols.
3.We wish to note that the State molecular laboratories are fully functional and tests for covid-19 are being done regularly. We ask you to avail yourself of this facility for your Covid-19 tests. Government shall continue to monitor the trends in the disease and take actions as may be necessary from time to time. Also, monitoring teams shall be reactivated to ensure compliance with the above directives
Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem
Secretary to State Government
Chairman, Akwa Ibom State COVID-19 Committee
22nd July, 2021