Panic In Akwa Ibom Government House As 18 Staff Test Positive To COVID-19

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The Akwa Ibom State Government House Uyo has been deserted following increase in the number of staff reportedly infected with the dreaded coronavirus.

The spike in COVID-19 infections at the Hilltop Mansion started last month when some Government House Press Corps members were alleged to have been infected.

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Subsequently, no fewer than five journalists who tested positive to the virus were quarantined, at the Ibom Multispecialty hospital, Uyo.

Some correspondents of national dailies, who had contacts with members of the press corps were duly followed up for a period of two weeks.

A reliable source, who does not want to be named, told The Nation on Monday that scores of staff at the Government House have been infected with COVID-19.

He disclosed that Governor Udom Emmanuel has already ordered a massive testing of staff working in various units within the government house.

“It should shock you that within two days we recorded 17 and 18 cases respectively. Both domestic staff, protocol, security and others working in government house. [They] were on the order of His Excellency subjected to test, and most of them turned out positive,” he said.

The source expressed concerns over the alarming rate of infected persons within the Government House.

“These ones are close to the Governor and have the opportunity to be tested and treated, what happens to those who have no such opportunity? Our people may just begin to die massively. We need to do more testing, we need to test those are are not close to the corridors of power,” he said.

It could also be recalled a broadcaster was arrested and detained for alleging that nine Commissioners in the state were infected with Covid-19.

Following such allegation, Governor Udom Emmanuel during a media chat paraded all Commissioners before newsmen to falsify the broadcaster’s claims.

The Government House source in reaction to such experience queried: “members of the press corps throughout the lockdown worked closely with members of the state executive council, how then did most of them test positive to Covid-19 if the people they worked closely with were as clean as claimed”.

Commissioner for Informationam Mr Charles Udoh, when contacted did not deny more staff of the Government House could have tested positive for Covid-19.

Udoh however said that key persons in the State Incidence Committee and principal staff of the Government House have not tested positive.

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“Ekerette Udoh, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor is not positive, the Secretary to the State Government is not positive and these are the people that we meet everyday.

“Dr Akpabio, the Governor’s personal physician and Dr Nathaniel Adiakpan, the Permanent Secretary Government House are not positive and as far as I am concerned, no commmissioner is positive,” he said.

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