Anxiety appears to mount as 53 suspected cases of COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom State who were tested and samples sent for test in an approved laboratory are awaiting results.
This is as Nigeria Centre for Disease Control had confirmed nine cases with one death in the state.
Speaking during a one-day Akwa Ibom State COVID-19 response and ethical reporting workshop for journalists, Dr. Aniekeme Uwah, the state epidemiologist said: “There is no cause for alarm and the persons involved should panic.”
Uwah who spoke on the topic: Objectives of the workshop and overview agenda held Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo on Wednesday, stated that the samples have been sent to a laboratory in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State for testing.
He said on return the Akwa Ibom State COVID-19 Incident Management Committee through NCDC will be able to determine the status of the persons.
The epidemiologist said the state would commence testing of many persons in the state as soon as a laboratory at Ibom Specialist Hospital is ready.
The novel virus, according to him, has thrown world leaders into dilemma but advised well-to-do indigenes of the state to assist the state government in the COVID-19 fight.
He, however, identified geography/environment, spread, severity, the capacity to cope, political/media, and international significance under the risk assessment of coronavirus.
Uwah used the occasion to call on governments in the country to establish Public Health Operations Centre (PHOC).
Comrade Amos Etuk, the state chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists lauded Nigeria Medical Association for the partnership in mounting the workshop for journalists and pledged the readiness of his members to be committed to the ethical reporting of the pandemic.
The state NMA Chairman, Dr. Nsikak Nyoyoko described the workshop as timely owing to the need for members of both bodies to fight the strange enemy called COVID-19 that has killed many persons globally.
Nyoyoko called on journalists to show capacity in the reportage of COVID-19 by being factual and objective to checkmate panic among their people.