Monday, 20 April 2020

COVID-19: Weigh in, give us financial support -C'River Gov't implores FG

Our Correspondent|20 April 2020 

While decrying the non support to the State from the Federal Government, the Cross River State COVID-19 Response Taskforce Chairperson, Dr. Betta Edu, has cried out to the Federal Government to financially support the state in the fight against the dreaded global Coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Edu who also doubles as Commissioner for Health in the state said the state is still Covid-19 free as all samples sent have returned negative despite being surrounded by states with positive cases and Cameroon with over 1, 000 confirmed cases. 

Dr. Betta Edu further said that all state doesn't have the same need at this point. "We are at the Pre-Covid-19 stage and we don't have the same needs as other states. All state should not be treated same. Our need for the time being is not a 300 bed Isolation center or 100 ventilators, what we need now is funding to completely shut our borders with Cameroon with over 1, 000 cases and states that have recorded many cases! 

"The Government is spending so much at the borders, we pay both security task force, vigilante, community youths and others millions daily to run shift daily to ensure persons do not cross the borders into our state from Cameroon or other state around us. This cost is high and we urgently need the FG to weigh in and give us financial support.

"The state is hiring 1, 000 Health Disease surveillance and notification officers to do active case search in communities, the logistics for them to go round, their daily allowances etc has huge cost on Government and so we urgently need financial help. 

CRSG denies N240, N500 million FG assistance 

She decried the non support from the Federal Government and thus, appealed for urgent funds from the federal government, partners, individuals and corporate organizations. 

She was amazed with news headlines filtering the various media outlets that Cross River has received N240 million from the Federal Government, 500 million from the Federal Government etc. "I, as the state Commissioner for Health and also Chairman of the Covid-19 Response Taskforce can boldly say that the state is yet to received any support from NCDC or federal government". 

She appealed to the federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently support Cross River state financially because as a state we are at a critical point being surrounded by states with confirmed cases and Cameroon that has over 1, 000 cases." says Dr Edu.

There's no infection in Cross River as at 19th April 2020 

Speaking further, the Taskforce chairperson resolved the doubt that not all persons that sneeze are Covid-19 infected, and there are certain criteria of testing samples: "There are laid down criteria and rules by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Federal Ministry of Health that direct on who to take samples from". 

She disclosed that the person earlier taken to University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH has a history of respiratory distress since September last year. That it comes and goes. She didn't meet the criteria. But since health workers were worried, they had to take the sample despite that the person didn't meet the criteria.

CRSG sustainable palliative measure 

On the sustainable palliative measure introduced by the state governor, Sir Ben Ayade the state taskforce chair lauded him for his ingenuity and benevolence. In the words of her boss: "there is no amount of food that you give to people that can feed them for one week; taking care of lives without livelihoods will result to cataclysmic society" and as such, the Governor has directed that 8, 000 youths be recruited out which 2, 000 would be employed in the health sector to assist the existing workforce in surveillance monitoring in the state: "we will be recruiting 400 doctors, 600 nurses and 1, 000 disease surveillance control officers who are expected to help in tackling Covid-19 and prevent community transmission.

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