The Akwa Ibom State government has attributed the current spike in COVID-19 infections to influx of people from neighbouring states where there are no facilities for PCR test.
The State coordinator for COVID-19 Management and immediate-past Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, made the disclosure at a press briefing in Uyo, the state capital on Saturday.
Ukpong said that due to wrong notions about the existence of COVID-19, many have consistently ignored basic protocols and have therefore exposed themselves to disease.
“Following our invitation, we have pleasantly been receiving and testing
a huge number of people including large number of people from the neighbouring States where there are no facilities for PCR tests.
“You are well aware that we are the only state with two State-owned PCR laboratories which NCDC acclaimed to be about the best in the country.
“These PCR machines are maintained entirely by the state and people are tested free at our permanent facility, the Infectious Disease Center, IDC, at Ituk Mbang,” he said.
The coordinator, who disclosed that the state government has again subjected members of the State Executive Council, other public officers and frontline public servants to COVID-19 test, maintained that Akwa Ibom would rather test and record many cases, than wait for its people to die in ignorance.
“We have also been constantly inviting people to come in for COVID testing.
“We prefer to test and treat every positive case found rather than wait for symptoms to develop because symptoms of the new Delta variant are not yet quite clear.
“We, however, discovered that many of those infected with the variant are symptomless
“The variant is also 50 times more infectious than the previous variant and is affecting young people with more severity than before,” he stated.