The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong has reassured citizens of the state on the approaches being adopted to prevent spread of the disease.
Dominic Ukpong said the state government is steadily putting measures in place to contain the disease.
While addressing Paramount Rulers led by the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs, His Eminence, Nteyin Solomon Etuk and council chairmen led by the ALGON Chairman, Hon. Frank Archibong, Dr Ukpong stated that a team of 88 volunteers have been trained and properly positioned to handle emergencies on the disease, adding that they are on standby to fly out any suspected case for testing.
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He pointed out that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was making plans to set up a laboratory in the state, which he said would serve as an emergency unit for states in the South south, adding that the laboratory would be an addition to a few laboratories in the country which are only available in Jos, Lagos, Abuja and in Port Harcourt.
While explaining that radio jingles in all languages in the state, handbills, drama sketches and billboards were being produced for broadcast to achieve the widest publicity, Dr Ukpong said the deadly disease which broke out on December 30, 2019 in China has so far sent nearly four thousand (4,000) Chinese to the grave, with the United States recording 26 deaths and 6 cases in South Africa.
“Coughing in a distance of 1.5 metres can transmit the sickness to the next person. The virus can survive on the surface for five days. It can stay in a person’s system for 14 days before manifesting.
“The most common way to prevent it is by frequent washing of hands with soap on running water. You must not share hand towels. The alternative is using hand sanitizers which have become very costly now”, he said.
“Shaking of hands is no more being recommended, since the hands are the most possible bodily contacts. We should endeavour to maintain social distance”, he said.
He dispelled rumours that alcohol and bitter cola can heal the disease, saying it could most be prevented by frequent washing of hands with soap, and getting it dried with tissue paper, which must be properly and immediately disposed.