By Franklyn Isong

“…As a matter of fact, the measures put in place at our airport is comprehensive and has no parallel anywhere in West Africa,” excerpts of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s address on Coronavirus.

It is widely said that prevention is better than cure.

Happy Sunday Your Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel. I pray mine meets you in good health.

I have read the full text of your address to Akwa Ibom people on the coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19).

Your address is very apt and commendable. The preventive measures taken so far by government as stated in your address are soothing and good steps in the right direction.

Moving further, my thinking, however, is that since the pandemic has no known cure in the world at the moment, we can only up the preventive measures to stay safe.

The government should place a temporary ban on all public gathering (churches and mosques inclusive) of more than 50 people, till further notice. While schools (public/private) should be closed down.

I think it is risky to allow our children to go to schools in the face of this pandemic.

“Screening has been instituted at various entry points to the State,” Governor Emmanuel said in the address.

Your Excellency, like the airport, the land and sea transportation systems that also serve as alternate means of conveying people to Akwa Ibom State, deserved a mention in your address.

If this was an oversight, I am pleased to urge that you direct the state Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies to include these critical subsectors in their daily monitoring routine.

Consequently, while the State has not recorded any confirmed case of COVID-19 at the moment, and by God’s grace, Akwa Ibom state and her people won’t have it, we need to step up our preventive measures in line with world best practices.

Again, I must commend Your Excellency’s proactive steps in this situation.

Franklyn Isong is a public affairs commentator and conscience of the society

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