Three persons have lost their lives as new COVID-19 cases has risen from five to 156 in the last two weeks in Akwa Ibom even as the state government has called for increased caution and vigilance among residents.
Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem who disclosed this in a press conference in Uyo on Thursday said the deadly effect of the Delta variant necessitated the need to reinforce protocols already established by government to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.
“Over the past two weeks, cases of covid-19 within the state have risen from 5 to 156). This increase, when considered in the light of the new Delta variant of the virus, which has now been isolated in Nigeria, calls for a renewal of our collective effort at preventing the spread of Covid-19 virus infection in our state.
“Accordingly, the government calls on all citizens of the state to obey all Covid-19 guidelines and protocols earlier enunciated by both the government of the state and the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC).” Ekuwem explained.
The SSG stated that all non-essential social gatherings like burials, weddings and birthday celebrations should be reconsidered with a view to drastically reducing the scale and scope or suspending them.
“Social distancing in tricycles and in Mini-buses and wearing of face masks are to be strictly complied with. Religious houses (churches and mosques) should run at half capacity and services should last not more than one (1) hour.
“Hotels, sit-outs, clubs, schools, transport companies, supermarkets, Banks, pharmacies should all ensure compliance with all Covid-19 preventive measures in their facilities.
“All Covid-19 monitoring mechanisms are hereby reactivated to ensure strict compliance with Covid-19 guidelines and protocols.” He said.
Ekuwem, who is also the chairman of the State COVID-19 Committee called on residents to avail themselves of the state molecular laboratories which are fully functional to do their Covid-19 tests.
“Government shall continue to monitor the trends in the disease and take actions as may be necessary from time to time. Also, monitoring teams shall be reactivated to ensure compliance with the above directives.” He stated.