COVID-19: A’Ibom People Knock Health Commissioner Over NCDC’s Attack

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Dominic Ukpong
Dominic Ukpong

Some people in Akwa Ibom have bashed the state Commissioner for Health over his attack, disclaiming the coronavirus pandemic cases on the state published by a Federal agency.

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had on Wednesday, April 1, announced five coronavirus cases in Akwa Ibom.

In a press release dated April 2, entitled: AKWA IBOM STATE COVID 19 UPDATE 3.0, Dr. Dominic Ukpong reacted “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 Director-General of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was not aware of the reported result announcement and All five reported positive test cases have been contacted and they have shown no COVID-19 symptoms.”

According to him, “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 Director-General of National 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 shown no COVID-19 symptoms and While the tests were being processed in NCDC approved test facilities, all suspected cases were held in isolation.”

Other remarks were “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, healthcare professionals in Akwa Ibom have called for an immediate reconfirmation test on the five reported cases and healthcare professionals in Akwa Ibom State have also appealed to the NCDC to ensure that all future tests are conducted following due process in order to maintain continued confidence in the process.”

Some analysts in Comfort 95.1 FM, Uyo, on Friday, April 3, queried the intention of the commissioner in doubting the data instead of looking for a solution to the pandemic.

An analyst was unhappy that Ukpong was not alive to his official responsibility otherwise when other state health commissioners are hooked up to finding a solution to the pandemic, he has holed himself in the comfort of Government House, Uyo to refute or reject result by an independent body.

Another analyst in Inspiration 105.9 FM, Uyo, said the commissioner should have rejected the messenger not the message, saying it was a height of ignorance for the commissioner to have refuted the pandemic cases.

“What did the commissioner intend to gain from the press release? Will the press release or refutal bring a solution to the pandemic? Were the commissioner and his principal not been saying that there was no COVID-19 case in the state?” the analyst queried.

One analyst called on the Governor to relieve the Health Commissioner of his duty over what he described as “unnecessary and ill-advised” press release.

But one analyst remarked that Governor Udom Emmanuel tried to mitigate the tempers of the people during his state broadcast, reasoning that the people should not crucify the commissioner because the governor might have mandated him to counter the NCDC’s publication of the pandemic cases.