Dominic Ukpong, the Special Adviser on Heath Matters to Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, said 44 people had so far died of COVID-19 in the state.
Ukpong made the disclosure at the maiden Eket Christmas Festival on Friday.
“It is official that 44 people died in Akwa Ibom since COVID-19 started on April 1, 2020.
“We should not allow people to deceive us, COVID-19 is real.
“In our state, the area which has the highest COVID-19 number was Uyo Local Government Area (LGA), followed by Eket LGA and Ikot Ekpene LGA,’’ he said.
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Ukpong added, “Just about three days ago, we have about five cases of COVID-19 again but we have not been able to confirm whether it is Omicron or not.’’
The special adviser appealed to residents of Eket and its environs to continue to abide by the protocols to prevent the virus.
Also speaking, Mr Frank Archibong, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, appealed to the people to maintain the peace during and after the carnival.
“Let’s us try as much as possible to maintain peace, let us not give the event bad colouration,’’ Archibong said.
Mr Akaniyene Tommy, the Chairman, Eket LGA, said the festival had been endorsed by reputable bodies, including the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria and Nigeria Tourism Development Cooperation.
Tommy assured the people of safety during the festival as adequate security measure had been put in place to achieve that.