The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Akwa Ibom have risen to 83 with additional 18 cases announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as at Wednesday, June 24, 2020. A release from the NCDC indicated that within the period under review, 43 patients had been discharged, while 38 cases were active and two deaths recorded. So far, Nigeria's cases have exceeded 22,000 as NCDC announced 649 new cases and 7,613 patients who have been discharged and 542 deaths recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory, without Cross River recording any case till date. The 649 new cases of COVID19 are reported as follows: Lagos250, Oyo-100, Plateau-40, Delta40, Abia-28, Kaduna-27, Ogun-22, Edo-20, Akwa Ibom-18, Kwara-17, FCT-17, Enugu-14, Niger-13, Adamawa-13, Bayelsa-7, Osun-6, Bauchi-6, Anambra-4, Gombe-3, Sokoto-2, Imo-1 , Kano-1. As a measure to contend the spread of the virus, the Akwa Ibom government has declared that henceforth, "no face mask, no trading for both buyers and sellers in all markets across the state. This takes effect from Thursday, June 25, 2020, with only buyers and sellers with face masks to be allowed to gain access to markets in the state. The secretary to the state government and chairman, Akwa Ibom State COVID-19 Incidence Management Committee, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, announced this during a meeting with leaders of traders associations across the state, Wednesday, in Uyo. Ekuwem said the meeting became necessary following increasing reports of attempts by some suspected COVID-19 cases to infiltrate Akwa Ibom from neighbouring states. Such infiltration, he added, exposes Akwa Ibom people to more danger of the contagion, hence the need to adopt more stringent preventive measures. He declared that every trader bringing wares into any market to sell and every buyer coming into the market to buy must be checked at the entrance to ensure their use of the face mask. Ekuwem urged market leaders to live up to expectations in line with the confidence reposed on them by the state government by ensuring enforcement of the "no face mask, no trading policy in their respective markets. He said whoever does not wear a face mask should not come into the market, whether the person is a buyer or a seller, with effect from Thursday. The SSS noted that Governor Udom Emmanuel being at the forefront of the fight against the scourge of COVID-19 has earned a range of accolades for Akwa Ibom through his display of political will through enormous investments in the health sector. This, he said, will be more effective if market leaders cooperate with government to ensure that behaviours that aid community transmission of the virus are checked. "Make sure that in your local markets, nobody comes in there to either sell or buy without a face mask, because we cannot afford to have mass community transmission of COVID-19, Ekuwem charged. The commissioner for information, Mr. Charles Udoh, on his part, stressed the need to sustain high level of personal hygiene to stay safe in the face of the pandemic. Udoh harped on hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, proper use of face mask, washing and ironing of the fabric masks and non-repetition of the disposable masks and observance of social distancing as was demands that must be upheld for personal safety. Responding on behalf of the trader leaders, the president, Akwa Ibom State Traders Association and special assistant to the governor on traders' matters, Akparawa Idorenyin Raphael, assured that efforts to enforce the use of face masks and other regulations will be intensified in line with new demands by the state government. Raphael informed that the various market associations are set to launch "Operation No Face Mask, No Entry from Thursday, June 25.