BY: Alobo Eba

The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Beta Edu has appealed to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to come to the aid of the state in sustaining its status as the only COVID-19 free state in the country. This according to the commissioner can be achieved if they support preventive and control measures already put in place by the state government since January, 2020.

The Commissioner made the appeal while addressing the press on Friday in her office. According to her, the efforts of the state government over the months has continued to yield desired results but at this critical time, the state needs the full support of the national in sustaining these efforts. Dr. Edu highlighted areas that the state needs support to include manning of the various entry points across the border areas in the state, provision of necessary equipments at the state testing centres, support for the Cameroonian refugees in the state as well as support for the agricultural revolution of the state government.

While applauding the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade for taking the numerous initiatives which include setting up the state taskforce and equipping them with various cars to ease their work, championing the ‘No mask, no movement’ campaign as well as supporting the opening of isolation centres, the Commissioner appealed to the PTF and NCDC to come to the aide of the state saying “As a state, at this point, we have fought a good fight and now it is over to the Federal Government, PTF and NCDC to support preventive disease control measures. This should be your pride not your shame. We leave our fate in your hand.” She declared.

Dr. Beta further highlighted the efforts of the state government so far to include training of over 400 health workers across the state that can be able to work in the isolation centres should the need arises. Others include sensitization tours across the nooks and crannies of the state, setting up of a 130 bedspace isolation centre, provision of personal protective equipments to both military and paramilitary personnel to mount strategic locations across the state, amongst others. These measures according to the commissioner demands commendations rather than condemnations as it is the case presently.

Dr. Edu further admonished Nigerians to stop magnifying the COVID-19 pandemic as most health workers now attribute some health challenges to the pandemic thereby creating fear in the minds of everyone. According to her “How many persons shall we lose before we stop magnifying corona virus”.

On the preparedness of the ministry towards the Local Government elections, Dr. Edu expressed optimism that everything has been put in place for a successful outing. She added that the Task Force deployed across the state will ensure strict compliance to the social distancing rule, hand washing and sanitizing. She said “Concerning the elections, we have been working hand in hand with CROSIEC to provide hand sanitizers, wash bays and soaps where people can wash their hands before and after voting”.

The Honorable Commissioner expressed worry over the increasing number of deaths occasioned by other diseases such as malaria, High Blood pressures, Diabetes, Hypertension amongst others and advocated for more stringent measures to be put in place in tackling those diseases rather than focus all the attention on the COVID-19 pandemic as it is presently the case in Nigeria.

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