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Akwa Ibom health professionals demand increased testing of suspected coronavirus cases

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Medical professionals under the aegis of the Conglomerate of Health Professionals in Akwa Ibom have demanded more testing of suspected cases of Coronavirus, especially those related to the index cases in the state.

This was contained in a statement issued in Uyo on Tuesday by the professionals, comprising of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Akwa Ibom State Branch.

Others who signed the statement were, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN).

The statement was signed by Dr Nsikak Nyoyoko, Chairman NMA, Mr Patrick Odu, Chairman NANNM, Dr Akwaowoh Akpabio, Chairman PSN and Mrs Emilia Eliezer, Chairman AMLSN.

The group called on the government to speed up the setting up of a state laboratory for testing.

The healthcare professionals in a review of the handling of the COVID-19 outbreak commended Gov. Udom Emmanuel for implementing the public health advisory.

They acknowledged the setting up of an isolation centre at Ibom Specialist Hospital and the ongoing construction of isolation centres in Eket and Ituk Mbang.

The group said that the five confirmed cases had remained clinically stable and commended the courageous health care professionals who had continuously and sacrificially put their lives on the front line.

While commending the response team on contact tracing for COVID-19, the group noted with displeasure the near lack of testing for Coronavirus.

They, however, called on the state Ministry of Health and the Incident Management Committee to immediately collaborate with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and ramp-up testing for COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom State.

“The government should speed up the setting up of a state laboratory for testing,” the group said.

They expressed displeasure about the lack of coordinated daily updates by the handlers of the response.

The health professionals called for improved information dissemination on COVID-19 in the state to avoid speculations and misinformation by the citizens.

Newsmen report that the NCDC had on April 1 announced that five cases were confirmed positive in the state.

As a result of the announcement, the governor in a state broadcast announced restriction of movement in the state with effect from April 3 and to last for 14 days to enhance contact tracing.

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