A lawmaker in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr. Godwin Akwaji showed has died, and he showed signs of coronavirus before his death.

There is currently an upsurge of malaria in the state, but experts say it is likely coronavirus.

The Cable is reporting that Godwin Akwaji, the lawmaker representing Obudu constituency at the Cross River state House of Assembly, has died after showing symptoms of COVID-19.

According to the report, he died at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) isolation centre around 12:30 pm on Thursday, June 18. Akwaji, who was said to be diabetic, also exhibited fatigue, fever, cough, breathlessness. 

A family source quoted in the report said the deceased had been treated for malaria and pneumonia with no improvement. Governor Ayade continues to insist there is no case of coronavirus in the state. 

The source added that some persons who visited the lawmaker at the hospital are already showing symptoms of COVID-19. Cross River is the only state where any case of COVID-19 has not been confirmed in the country.

Authorities in the state have been insisting that there is no case of coronavirus in the state. 

On his part, Governor Ben Ayade has severally dismissed it and opened up the state when the majority of Nigerian states were on lockdown.

Already, public schools in Cross River state resumed on Monday, June 16 based on the governor’s pronouncements. He said personal protective equipment would be made available to students free of charge. A recent report by The Guardian noted that hospitals and pharmacies recorded an unprecedented upsurge in malaria and typhoid fever cases in the state last week, with an increasing demand for malaria and other related drugs. 

The development heightened speculations that coronavirus may have found its way into the state. 

Anxiety in Benue as 2 NAF officers contract Covid-19 disease A pharmacist, who pleaded anonymity, said: 

“Since we started this business of drug selling 20 years ago, we have not made so many sales in malaria, vitamin c and other related drugs, as we have done this period. 

Some persons are suspecting COVID-19, but I don’t know.” On Wednesday, June 10, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Cross River state chapter, in a press release, noted that “the increasing report of flu-like symptoms, respiratory symptoms and loss of smell/taste in various hospitals in the state is an indication of potential community transmission of an undetected disease fitting the epidemiologic pattern of COVID-19.”

While Cross River continues to live in denial, neighbouring Akwa Ibom state has commenced testing of COVID-19 cases in its newly built category 3 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory at the infectious disease unit/Isolation centre of the General hospital Ituk Mbang.

The PCR lab approved by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Friday, June 12, received its first batch of 22 COVID-19 samples. 

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