Akwa Ibom rejects NCDC’s report of 5 positive coronavirus cases

Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel
Udom Emmanuel

Akwa Ibom State Government says it does not accept the report of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that five persons tested positive for the coronavirus in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, said this after a meeting with the State Incident Management Committee in Uyo on Thursday.

Ukpong said that the five reported positive cases have been contacted but have shown no symptoms of COVID-19, adding that the testing that produced the said result did not follow due process.

Accoring to him, the Director General of NCDC was not aware of the reported result which was announced.

He added that the testing process was bridged, as the procedure for releasing the results was not duly followed, stressing that the test should be repeated.

The commissioner explained that the sample batches which were previously sent for testing by the Akwa Ibom State Government came back negative.

Ukpong said that the coronavirus cases came from the team of American doctors who recently carried out a medical outreach in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of the state.

He added that the contact tracing of patients and all those that came in contact with the doctors was ongoing.

“We observed a disturbing breach in the test and reporting procedure. Akwa Ibom State Government only heard about the test results in the news,” the commissioner said.

“The Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was not aware of the reported result announcement.

“All five reported positive test cases have been contacted and they have showed no COVID-19 symptoms.

“While the tests were being processed in NCDC approved test facilities, all suspected cases were held in isolation.

“Several sample batches have been previously sent for testing from Akwa Ibom State and they all returned negative results.

“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 five reported cases.”

Ukpong said the five cases were currently at the Ibom Multi-Specialist Hospital and not showing any symptoms of COVID-19.

The commisiioner called on Akwa Ibom residents to remain calm and observe the personal and respiratory hygiene guidelines that were issued.

He added that it was also important to adhere to the social distancing prescriptions to stay safe.

He said the Enforcement Committee of the Quarantine and Restriction of Movement Regulations 2020 have been mandated to enforce the directives.

The commisioner said that the Incident Management Committee would continue to meet daily to review and analyse the situation and provide necessary update to Akwa Ibom people.