Hope that COVID-19 is not a death sentence was rekindled Wednesday as Akwa Ibom Government discharged 27 patients from its isolation centre.
The patients, who were receiving treatments for the pandemic, were given a clean bill of health after recovery and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had tested that they were negative.
The good news was broken Wednesday in the official Twitter handle of Akwa Ibom State Government- #AkwaIbomTwitter.
Also, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, flanked by respiratory medicine expert, Professor Etete Peters and the CMD of Ibom Specialist Hospital, Prof Emmanuel Ekanem, announced this on Wednesday in Uyo.
So far, no fewer than 41 patients of the 45 officially confirmed by NCDC of having the infections had been discharged.
Meanwhile, testing for coronavirus in the state has begun following inauguration of Polymerase Claim Reaction (PCR) Laboratory at the Methodist Hospital, Ituk Mbang 300-bed capacity Isolation Centre.
The leader of NCDC delegation, Bamidele Oluwafemi who stated this Tuesday when he met with Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem in Uyo, commended the State Government for single-handedly building the facility without the support of the Federal Government.
Describing the isolation centre with an in-built Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory as one of the best in the country, Oluwafemi noted that the team had inspected the facility and trained personnel at the Isolation Centre on how to carry out COVID-19 test and interpret results.
The NCDC team leader lauded the State Government for building the isolation centre from the scratch for the purpose of containing not only the spread of COVID-19, but other viral diseases in the state unlike what is obtainable in some states of the federation where some old buildings are being converted into isolation centres.
He, however, recommended demarcation of some relevant section of the Ituk Mbang isolation centre to ensure smooth service delivery, noting that with the activation and approval of the laboratory, sample testing of suspected COVID-19 infected persons would commence in a few days in the state.
Ekuwem, the Chairman of COVID-19 Management Committee and Secretary to the State Government, thanked NCDC team for activating and approving the PCR lab as well as adjudging the lab and isolation centre as one of the best in the country.
“On behalf of His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, I express our heartfelt gratitude to the team from the NCDC for visiting our state to painstakingly inspect and evaluate the kind of facility we have in the premises of General Hospital, Ituk Mbang.”
The Commissioner for Health, Dominic Ukpong noted that with the approval of the PCR lab in the State, the difficulty the state was experiencing in taking COVID-19 samples to other states for testing and timely results of the test, is now a thing of the past.
Ukpong who is also the State Incident Manager said the lab which would also be used in carrying out tests for other infectious diseases, would help in increasing the state’s testing for the COVID-19, thereby helping it contain further spread of the virus.