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Akwa Ibom COVID-19 committee threatens to shut centres

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A seven-day ultimatum has been issued to oil giant, ExxonMobil to comply with stipulated COVID-19 guidelines or risk having all its quarantine centres in Akwa Ibom State shut down.

The threat was issued, yesterday, by the Chairman of Akwa Ibom State COVID-19 Management Committee and Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, while speaking with Government House pressmen in Uyo.

The Chairman said it had been observed that ExxonMobil, in operating its quarantine centres, has not followed the AKSG/NCDC/WHO laid-down protocols for the effective and efficient running of quarantine centres.

These breaches, he stated, are capable of endangering the lives of not just ExxonMobil staff, but also that of the people in the state.

Ekuwem said the state Government would not overlook the breaches, as it could jeopardise the sustained and deliberate efforts of the Udom Emmanuel administration to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic to the barest minimum. 

The committee, therefore, believed it was imperative that ExxonMobil makes a professional adjustment, take appropriate precautions and liaise with the State Government, where necessary, for the efficient running of its quarantine centres in the state.

It would be recalled that during the lockdown, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the corporate social responsibility of ExxonMobil was called to question when it donated two ambulances, 20 hospital beds and 10 old vehicles to the state for use in contact tracing.

The state government, after evaluating the donated items, rejected the 10 vehicles and called on ExxonMobil to demonstrate good corporate citizenship by replacing them. As at the time of filing this report, the organisation was yet to retrieve the used vehicles, neither has it brought new ones to replace them.

The donated ambulances were also discovered to be converted buses and the beds fell below standards.


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