Following the announcement of cases of the novel coronavirus in the state, the Akwa Ibom government appears to be contesting the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.
According to a statement released Thursday, the Governor Emmanuel Udom-led government has demanded a reconfirmation of the announced cases.
The NCDC had, on Wednesday, said that there were five confirmed cases of the virus infection in the state.
The state government, in a statement from its Commissioner for Health, Dominic Ukpong, however, raised questions over the announcement by the NCDC, saying that there was “a disturbing breach in the test and reporting procedure” adopted by the agency.
According to reports from the South-south state, the Akwa Ibom government said it only heard about the results of the test in the news.
In the meantime, it is unclear if the NCDC is required by protocols to inform state governments before the agency goes public with the results of COVID-19 tests.
The statement from the Akwa Ibom government said even the Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, was unaware of the result announced by the Centre.
The statement said: “All 5 reported positive test cases have been contacted and they have shown no COVID-19 symptoms.
“Owing to the irregularities observed in the testing and reporting procedure, Health Care Professionals in Akwa Ibom State have called for an immediate reconfirmation test on the 5 reported cases.”
The government further stated that the samples that were sent to the NCDC for the COVID-19 testing have all returned negative.
“While the tests were being processed in NCDC approved test facilities, all suspected cases were held in isolation.
“Health Care Professionals in Akwa Ibom State have appealed to the NCDC to ensure that all future tests are conducted following due process in order to maintain continued confidence in the process,” the statement added.
Governor Udom Emmanuel, as part of efforts to avoid the breakout of the pandemic in the state, signed into law an executive order banning public gatherings in the state.
Shops and businesses have been temporarily closed down, while vehicles from other states have been barred from entering Akwa Ibom.