Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has urged residents of the state to observe basic protective procedures as the omicron variant of the coronavirus pandemic has been identified in Nigeria noting that Akwa Ibom State may not lockdown because of the virus.

Governor Emmanuel stated this in Uyo, the state capital while receiving a donation of medical consumables by Saraya Japan, a Japanese-based company working in collaboration with Junior Chambers International, JCI Nigeria.

Items donated were 303,000 units of hand sanitizers, worth over N280 million, for onward distribution to the citizens of the state.

He said, “the state may not embark on another lockdown because of the emerging “Omicron” wave of the Coronavirus. it is pertinent for everyone to observe basic protective procedures against the virus and ensure a safe Yuletide.”

He, however, urged foreign companies to set up their production plants in the state so that products would be localised and boosted even as he expressed readiness to ensure the speedy acquisition of land for the building of factories.

The governor directed the Commissioner for Health, Prof Augustine Umoh, to ensure the distribution of the donated items to all government hospitals and public places across the state.

Umoh, on his part, reassured that in view of huge investments the governor has made in the health sector, the state can tackle the threatening new virus, as it were in the earlier waves.

He said though the state government is playing its part to contain the disease, the people should also play theirs by observing the precautionary measures of COVID-19.

The President of Saraya Japan, Dr. Saraya Yusuke, represented by Pascal Dike, said the company has been into health and hygiene products since the 1960s in Japan.

He said the donation was not only part of efforts by the company to show support to the government in their fight against coronavirus but to establish their presence in Nigeria.

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