Akwa Ibom arrests 68 suspected COVID-19 patients at border

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Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel at a COVID-19 treatment center in Uyo

THE Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has disclosed how the government ambushed 68 suspected COVID-19 patients attempting to enter the state through unconventional borders, wondering what would have happened if they had sneaked in.

Hosting the State Caucus of the National Assembly in Uyo, Sunday, the governor said, “they tried to bring in about 68 of them. We got the information, so I used the police to intercept them; apart from that, I think so far, the curve has decline drastically.”

He acknowledged that the intelligence gathering strategy deployed by  Government to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, paid off in foiling the attempt of the invading suspected COVID-19 patients.

According to the governor, it was learnt  that the suspects, who were mainly from “distant states,” had collaborators in the state and were hoping to benefit from the state’s robust healthcare system on COVID-19.

He said: “I have text messages where people were trying to communicate with their colleagues here and those colleagues encouraged them to move into the state with the assurance that people are better treated here.

“People even enter through water and when they come in, they declare themselves to be having symptoms so we can pick them up for treatment because they hear testimonies and even calling people to confirm.”

The governor wondered why despite the agreement reached at the Governors’ Forum on the closure of inter-state borders as a measure to limit the spread of the virus, people were still leaving other states for Akwa Ibom.

He explained that the state was observing what every state is observing, and “let nobody misunderstand anybody,  we don’t want people to start loading luxury buses and transmit the virus.”

During the tour of the State Caucus of the National Assembly of the newly constructed Isolation Centre within the premises of  Methodist General Hospital, Ituk Mbang in Uruan Local Government Area, the governor explained that “our Isolation Centre should be as good as where any national assembly person should stay.”

Senator Christopher Ekpeyong, (Akwa Ibom North West), who was the leader of the delegation, commended the proactive disposition of the governor in healthcare matters.

According the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the lawmakers donated N5 million to the State COVID-19 Management Committee.

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