By Ayo Kehinde
In the latest update on the Covid-19 status in Nigeria, the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, listed Akwa Ibom state as the latest entry with five cases of the virus infection , bringing the total to 174.
In its official Twitter handle on Wednesday, @ncdcgov, it stated that “twenty-tree new cases of #COVID-19 have been reported in Nigeria. They are, 9 in Lagos, 7 in the FCT, 5 in Akwa Ibom, I in Kaduna and I in Bauchi.”
In a swift reaction the Akwa Ibom state Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, faults the statement by the NCDC, stating that the state had observed a “disturbing breach in the tset and reporting procedure”, adding that the DG of the Agency was unaware of the “reported result announcement”
He declared, “Several sample batches have been previously sent for testing from Akwa Ibom State and they all returned negative results.”
Details of His Press statement below:
Sequel to the news report about the positive testing of 5 hitherto suspected cases of COVID -19 in Akwa Ibom state, we wish to state as follows, that;
1. We observed a disturbing breach in the test and reporting procedure.
2. Akwa Ibom State Government only heard about the test results in the news.
3. The Director General of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was not aware of the reported result announcement.
4. All 5 reported positive test cases have been contacted and they have showed no COVID-19 symptoms.
5. While the tests were being processed in NCDC approved test facilities, all suspected cases were held in isolation.
6. Several sample batches have been previously sent for testing from Akwa Ibom State and they all returned negative results.
7. Owing to the irregularities observed in the testing and reporting procedure, Health Care Professionals in Akwa Ibom State have called for an immediate reconfirmation test on the 5 reported cases.
8. The results will be made public; following due process.
9. Health Care Professionals in Akwa Ibom State have also appealed to the NCDC to ensure that all future tests are conducted following due process in order to maintain continued confidence in the process.
10. Residents and citizens are enjoined to remain calm while observing all personal and respiratory hygiene guidelines earlier issued as well as adhere to the social distancing prescriptions.
11. The Enforcement Committee of the Quarantine and Restriction of Movement Regulations 2020 have been mandated to see to the full operation of the provisions of the regulations.
12. The Incident Management committee will continue to meet on a daily basis to review and analyze the situation while updates will be provided as and when due.
Together, we can stop the spread of this pandemic.
Let’s be safe; let’s stay safe.
Dr. Dominic Ukpong
Ministry of Health
April 02, 2020