Concerned with the palpable disquiet that has trailed the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosure of the State’s COVID-19 status, the Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom State (COOPA) has called on Akwa Ibom people to be calm in the face of the raging pandemic, if we must make meaningful progress towards stemming its tide.

The group made the statement rising from the launch of a media campaign to sensitize members and the citizenry on measures to be taken to stay safe from the pandemic on the heels of the NCDC’s publication that puts the number of confirmed positive cases in State at five.

Urging members to maintain a high level of discipline in information management during the period, the group which is the umbrella body for online Media practitioners in the state, speaking through the Chancellor, Mr. Ifreke Nseowo reminded people of the state of the danger of sensationalizing the situation.

Nseowo tasked new media practitioners to be mindful of the powerful tool and responsibility the profession places in their hands to propagate hope and faith rather than break the society and advised members to only publish verified information to avoid spreading panic.

Calling on the State Government to consider putting in place palliative measures to reduce the burden of the socioeconomic and psychological weight the outbreak has placed on the people, COOPA pleaded with medical professionals to discountenance every act of provocation that could dampen their morale during this period.

It also charged citizens and residents to stick to professional measures intended to scale down the viral spread; soliciting cooperation for the movement regulation order of the Akwa Ibom State Government, while calling on members of the public to join hands against the spread by desisting from the ongoing blame games.