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‘Our preparation is beyond coronavirus’

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Akwa Ibom emerges the cleanest state
Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel yesterday said that his administration would continue to be proactive in providing healthcare facilities in line with his determination to make health services cheaper for his people.

The governor stated this during his visit to Ibom Multi-Specialty Hospital to inspect some of the recently-acquired facilities.

Emmanuel, accompanied by the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Emmanuel Ekanem and the Commissioner for Health Dr. Dominic Ukpong and some health experts to assess the functionality of the health equipment meant to handle any emergency health pandemic situations, including the dreaded COVID-19, commended them on the level of improvement noticed in the health facility.

“Our visit is to ensure that they have expanded the number of beds that we ordered to accommodate extra 20 facilities in case of any emergency and I am happy with what I have seen. It is not just to check the state of preparedness that we came, it is to make sure what we have put on ground are functional and are working well.

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“I came here with the experts so that we can have a look to see that those things work well. We wanted the whole 13 ventilators checked to be sure they are working very well, even though we don’t have any incident now of the COVID-19 in the state.”

He, therefore, expressed satisfaction with the state of facility at the Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Theatre, ventilators for adults and babies as well as other states of the art equipment recently acquired by the state government.

Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom State has scored 68 per cent to emerge the cleanest state, while Abuja got 66 per cent to become the cleanest city for 2019 in the country.

A report by Clean Up Nigeria (CUN), a foremost environmental group, signed by Ene Baba Owoh, indicated that Ebonyi, Cross River, Niger and Rivers states scored 44, 41, 29 and 27 per cent respectively.

The report also added that there was improvement in 2019 report when compared to last year’s state of the cleanliness performance index ratings for all states and towns in Nigeria.

However, following the shutdown order signed into law by the Akwa Ibom State government, shops, markets, business premises that have nothing to do with selling of food items are under lock and key.

At least, there has been total compliance in this direction.

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At the popular Akpan Andem Market along Udo Umana Street and Urua Itam, every shop or stall that used to sell other wares outside food items in the main market, even those by the main road leading to the market, remained locked up by the owners.

Also, the popular Ibom Plaza that usually houses hawkers of different wares was deserted by those persons, except those selling banana, cucumber, oranges and other fruits as the taskforce enforcing the restriction order were seen at strategic locations within the plaza.

When The Guardian visited Urua Itam, only stalls with yams, garri, rice beans and other food condiments were seen with displayed goods.

It is, however, pertinent to note that only transporters are those disobeying the order as it affects their operations.

Tricycle operators are still carrying four passengers as against one, while mini bus operators are still carrying six passengers against the law.

Most of the transporters, who spoke with The Guardian, said that if they should carry only one person at N50, they would not be able to meet their financial obligations to the owner of the Keke.

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