The Health Action Plan for the incident management of COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom State may have collapsed, thus putting the health planners in crisis, Straightnews has exclusively learnt.
A source close to Government circle said “This is one of the things that prompted the state governor, Udom Emmanuel to have summoned an emergency State Executive Council meeting on Friday to sort out the crisis.
“During the meeting, commissioners and special advisers were advised to come alone and for those who could not drive to join their colleagues to meeting, but not to come with any of their aides.”
“The constant press releases and counter directives by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem who is supposed to be the Chairman of the COVID-19 in the state; the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Charles Udoh and alleged conflicting figures by the state Commssioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong on the pandemic were said to have embarrassed the state government and put it in bad light in the eyes of the public.”
“There are suspicions that some members of the state EXCO and some aides to the governor might have been exposed to the deadly virus,” source stated.
However, a communique of the meeting was not issued.
Meanwhile, in line with the Federal Government’s directive to provide health facilties for the management of COVID-19, Akwa Ibom government has reviewed its health plan.
A source in the state Ministry of Health confided in Straightnews that “the planned provision of a 300-bed facility at Methodist Hosptial, Ituk Mbang in Uruan local government area of the state has been reduced to a 200-bed space.”
Before now, Straightnews had run an opinion that the government wanted to build a 300-bed space in the hospital, emphasizing the need to provide such at IDH, Ikot Ekpene to leverage on the memory of the hospital and to save cost.
According to the source, “In the new arrangement, the government will provide a 200-bed space in the Methodist Hospital, Ituk Mbang. Already, the building currently under construction has reached lintel level with plans to put roof on it next week.
“Other arrangements are a 20-bed space at Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo; 20-bed space at General Hospital, Iquita Oron; 20-bed space at General Hospital, Ikot Abasi; and 20-bed space at General Hospital, Ikot Ekpene.
“On completion, the hospitals will be maintained through drill sinmulations probably on a quareterly basis. The essence of the decentralisation in the provision of the health facilities is to keep health security and safety professionals on their toes as the economy of the state is being transformed to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).”