Nigeria: Coronavirus - Akwa Ibom Questions NCDC's Announcements, Demands Second Tests

The Akwa Ibom government appears to be contesting the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)'s announcement of cases of the novel coronavirus in the state.

The government has demanded a "reconfirmation" of the the announced cases, according to a statement released Thursday.

The NCDC on Wednesday said there were five confirmed cases of the virus infection in the state.

But the state government, in a statement from its Commissioner for Health, Dominic Ukpong, raised questions over the announcement by the NCDC, saying that there was "a disturbing breach in the test and reporting procedure" adopted by the agency.

The Akwa Ibom government said it only heard about the results of the test in the news.

It is unclear, for now, if the NCDC is required by protocols to inform state governments before the agency goes public with the results of COVID-19 tests.

The statement from the Akwa Ibom government said even the director general of the NCDC was unaware of the result that was announced by the agency.

"All 5 reported positive test cases have been contacted and they have showed no COVID-19 symptoms.

"Owing to the irregularities observed in the testing and reporting procedure, Health Care Professionals in Akwa Ibom State have called for an immediate reconfirmation test on the 5 reported cases," the statement said.

The government said samples they have sent to the NCDC for the COVID-19 testing have all returned negative results.

"While the tests were being processed in NCDC approved test facilities, all suspected cases were held in isolation.

"Health Care Professionals in Akwa Ibom State have appealed to the NCDC to ensure that all future tests are conducted following due process in order to maintain continued confidence in the process," the statement said.

The Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel, a few days ago signed into law an executive order banning public gatherings in the state.

Shops and businesses have been temporarily closed down, while vehicles from other states have been barred from entering Akwa Ibom.

The state government in its latest statement appealed to residents to remain calm and continue to practice personal hygiene and maintain social distancing.

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