… We had nine cases tested So Far – Health Commissioner
By Saviour Ekpe
Issues relating to COVID-19 in view of tests, results, discharges, positive and negative patients in Akwa Ibom State have been the concern of every citizen in the state. Series of conflicting reports as per how many Coronavirus patients were diagnosed in the state.
Certain reports about the real figures of the Akwa Ibom State in the state have been published while other platforms accused the government of not being sincere in their doing with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, while other reports observed that the governor is confused and that he cannot steer the affairs as far as the COVID-19 is concerned that he leaves the stage for certain actors who monopolized, capitalized and feed fat in the misfortune of other people. It is also rumoured in some quarters that figures as presented by the Akwa Ibom State Government and the NCDC are fictitiously manipulated to deceive the gullible.
In his chat with Century Newsfront yesterday (April 16, 2020) in his office, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong who was flanked by the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Hospitals Board Explained, “First of all, we had five sample tests for COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom when Nigeria was struck with this disease, we did those five tests they were all negative. After that five, we got to hear that somebody who was in a team that led a medical mission in Akwa Ibom State had tested positive in the United States and this was the leader of that team on finishing that project on 13th of March, 2020. It was a three day’s mission from 9-13 when returned to her country was tested positive. So on that basis; we decided to find out those who went with him. There were 17 medical personnel, doctors, nurses, pharmacists who carried out that mission, we got all of them and tested all of them. Out of the 17 of them, five came out positive, the rest were negative. Those five were the ones that were announced by NCDC because we informed them. We did not let them stay in their houses, we traced all their contacts, we took them into custody for management in Ibom Specialists Hospital and after some time, we tested them again this time out of the five, four were negative even at that, we could not still discharge those who were tested negative because the policy and international protocol are that we have to test them twice, one was still positive out of the five. So what we did, according to the protocol to repeat the test, 48 hours after that, we then had two positive and three negative. During the period of this five, we had a new person who came in with strong suspicion and we put him there and tested him and he came out negative that is the sixth person. During this period again as we waited to repeat this test, we had other cases; we got somebody from Ikot Ekpene local government area, we another person from other areas then we got another person two days ago. If you add this three to the other six, that is nine that we tested. When we retested them, we found out that out of the last three, two were negative while the last person was tested positive. Now the last one person that was negative is the one NCDC reported as a new case in Akwa Ibom State. All others that were tested before are not reported as new cases. In summary, we have had nine cases tested in Akwa Ibom State, out of those nine cases tested repeatedly, three of them are positive, the rest are negative, which we discharged them yesterday (March 15, 2010). Those three that are positive, we are still testing them, this week, we are going to test them again while six had been discharged.
When asked when the NCDC reported these cases on their site in view of the period of the reported cases, “you can ask them, I’m not NCDC; I am Commissioner for Health, Akwa Ibom State”.
The Commissioner who was apprehensive in his response to Century Newsfront said, “I have also heard people said that an indigene of Akwa Ibom State died of Coronavirus, which was a blatant lie whereas, the Akwa Ibom State indigene who died was residing in London did not die of coronavirus but malignancy. The way they reported, the said the first Coronavirus case in Akwa Ibom State died”. He called all and sundry to join forces to eradicate the virus in the state as it does not select its victims, “This virus is not political; it does not affect somebody in APC, PDP, national party or whatever you may call it, it hit anybody”.