- Akwa Ibom is clearly not ready for COVID 19! Worst still, attitude of government smacks of callousness and insensitivity.
- If States with better infrastructural resource and preparedness are on alert, it is suicidal that we have refused to raise the red flags by now.
A popular public affairs analyst Barr. Imo Akpan has charged the Governor of state H.E, Deac. Udom Emmanuel to kick up a serious fight against Convid19 (coronavirus)
In a post titled ” Akwa Ibom Lives Matters Much” the barrister said ” Akwa Ibom is clearly not ready for COVID 19! Worst still, attitude of government smacks of callousness and insensitivity. “
Barr. Imo made this post in response to the Governor’s speech concernong corona virus out break in the state, which the governor said “no corona virus case registered yet.”
Since the outbreak of Corona Virus (code named COVID 19) and its subsequent declaration by World Health Organisation (WHO) as a pandemic, Nigeria has played host to its first set of known victims. The victims, according to NCDC (National Centre for Disease Control) are in Abuja, Ogun and Lagos States.
In response, the Federal Government and States have raised public awareness on the outbreak. There has been vast deployment of medical personnel and facilities across the country. The Federal Government has ordered the closure of public institutions, suspension of Federal Executive Council meetings and closure of public schools. It has also advised on the limits of social gatherings.
In Akwa Ibom State, there is no known case of Corona virus infection reported yet. Governor Udom Emmanuel in a State-wide broadcast assured citizens of preparedness of government to deal with the pandemic should it rear its head. In that regard, the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Ikot Ekpene is said to have been fitted for use to receive would -be patients.
Akwa Ibom State Government has also resisted calls to shut down schools and other public institutions as unreasonable. It even took the withdrawal of INEC from further participation in the PDP Congresses before it could be suspended.
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Government has insisted that schools must remain open till end of terms when exams are taken and concluded.
We do not seem to appreciate the enormity of the pandemic the world is grappling with. One needs to look at Europe and Asia to appreciate the fact that we are tottering on the brink.
Akwa Ibom is clearly not ready for COVID 19! Worst still, attitude of government smacks of callousness and insensitivity.
What’s in an exam that we have in recent past emerged from the rear? Are exams more important than the health of an entire populace? Is it fair that a whole State is left at the decrepit IDH in Ikot Ekpene located by a famous refuse dump?
Why can’t we be serious for once? Why must we be hypocritical about our belief in God? If COVID 19 can penetrate Aso Rock, then we can imagine what is happening elsewhere.
The figures reeled out by NCDC may be comforting for now, but the situation could actually be worse. In Akwa Ibom where our spiritual-cultural inclinations favour visits to prayers houses for spiritual treatment if medical ailments, it is not known how many patients will be undergoing such secret therapies.
If States with better infrastructural resource and preparedness are on alert, it is suicidal that we have refused to raise the red flags by now. It is clear that media reports of equipping hospitals across the State were not true. What’s our level of preparedness? How many test kits have we procured? What’s our personnel readiness level?
Government must as a matter of urgency order the shutting down of all public schools and institutions forthwith. It must stop all public gatherings that could predispose people to danger. The Ministry of Transportation must liaise with Transport operators to check crowding in vehicles.
This is the minimum that is expected of any responsible government that cares about the lives of its citizens.
The time to act is now. Mr Imo wrote.