COVID-19: Akwa Ibom Govt. threatens to shut down unapproved testing centres



The Akwa Ibom Government has threatened to shut down COVID-19 testing centres using or procuring the use of any other testing method, and not using  the approved Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) method.

The leader of the  state COVID-19 Management Committee, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, stated this during  an interactive session  with newsmen in Uyo on Monday.

He said  that the state government condemned any attempt to use serological testing in the determination of a person’s COVID-19 status.

He also said that it had  a 40-per cent chance of error and could cause an additional  threat to the health of such a person.

Ekuwem said that the move was to  protect the lives of Akwa Ibom people adding that the position was pursuant to the  NCDC guidelines and  global best practice.

“In line with emerging realities in COVID-19 detection and management, it has become imperative for the state government to unambiguously define its position on the standard and quality of test acceptable within the borders of Akwa Ibom.

“The state government, hereby, announces that the testing method acceptable in Akwa ibom is the PCR test.

“This position is made pursuant to the  NCDC guidelines and global best practices. The primary duty of any  government is the protection of lives and property of its citizens.”

He said that research findings had  shown clearly that no other testing method could  guarantee less error rate than the PCR, hence, the state government’s  preference for it.

He said that the state government  condemned  specifically any attempt to use serological testing in the determination of a person’s COVID-19 status.

“This test has a very high failure rate and is, therefore a public health risk, which is absolutely unacceptable to us as a responsible government.

“Any health facility or private laboratory seeking to undertake COVID-19 test is reminded that they must first obtain clearance and certification from the NCDC and be registered with the state government.

“Any organisation using or procuring any other testing method for COVID-19 will be shut down by the state government for constituting a public health threat to the people of our dear state,” Ekuwem said.

He used the occasion to encourage churches in the state to set up an intra- church COVID-19 guidelines and monitoring compliance team, to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols in churches across the state.

On testing and care for  pregnant women in the state, Ekuwem assured the public  that pregnant women who tested positive for  COVID-19 would be treated with the best possible care, followng national protocols.


Edited By: Chidi Opara/Peter Dada (NAN)

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