A seven-man team from the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Monday commended Cross River State Government for being proactive in the fight against COVID-19.
Dr Omobolanle Olowu, Leader of the team, told journalists after visiting the 100-bed isolation centre in Adiabo, Odukpani LGA, that Cross River
was proactive to ensure safety of the state.
She said the state would have had cases if it had left its borders open when the pandemic started early in the year.
Olowu said, however, that the state still needed Federal Government’s assistance in upgrading its reference laboratory to be able to effectively test for COVID-19.
“The Obong of Calabar was particularly worried that the state does not have enough testing centres.
”We are going to take this back to the Minister of Health so that one or two laboratories would be established in the state.
“It is a concern for everybody in the nation because not much testing is carried out in the state.
”We don’t want Cross River to be a reservoir of COVID-19, when others will be getting out of it,” she said.
In her remarks, Dr Betta Edu, Chairman, Cross River COVID-19 Response Team, said the state had been carrying out effective surveillance and testing with samples sent to Irua in Edo, as well as Ebonyi and Abuja.
“We need funding to keep our borders both interstate and international shut.
”We need the Federal Government to come and set up a vaccine manufacturing and research centre in Cross River.
“We need the Federal Government to purchase face masks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face shields from Cross River for the whole country.
”We need to and get other African countries to come and buy from the state instead of China,” she said.
The chairman added that the state needed its own testing centres.
“We need to upgrade the machines, softwares and catridges in the laboratory to be able to effectively test for COVID-19,” she said.
Earlier, the team paid a courtesy visit to the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu (V), who appealed to NCDC to create more testing centres in the state.
“This virus has shaken the world. It is like a war.
”This administration must start looking into effective development of its health sector,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team visited the 100-bed isolation centre in Adiabo, Mayne Avenue Primary Healthcare Centre, and Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Infectious Disease Hospital, designated as a testing centre.
The team also visited the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Isolation Centre and the state’s garment factory which is producing face masks.
– May 19, 2020 @ 08:35 GMT /