Monday, 18 May 2020

Drama as visiting NCDC officials contradicts DG of NCDC

18 May 2020 

A mild drama ensued Monday in Calabar the Cross River capital city as officials of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC who played guests to the Commissioner for Health in the State contradicted the earlier submission of the Director General of the NCDC on the status of the state in respect of Coronavirus Disease 2019, Covid-19.

Recall that the DG of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe
Ihekweazu, on 27th April had said that four states including Cross River who had not disclosed any incident of the virus cannot hide it. According to him, 'We are looking at the number of samples collected from these states. We are not satisfied with the number of samples collected.

'We need to test more, but to test more, we need to collect more and that collection part is the responsibility of states and their Public Health teams. We want to really encourage every state in Nigeria, you cannot hide this. Eventually, it will emerge. It is better we understand what is happening early than leave it till we start hearing stories of death', He said.

Dr Omobolanle Olowu from the Ministry of Health headquarters and leader of the delegation of seven from the NCDC and National Primary Healthcare Development Agency NPHDA said the state deserved commendation. Olowu who disclosed their initial fears that her delegation would be quarantined said the proactive initiative of the state to commence the fight against Covid-19 pandemic even when Nigeria had not recorded an incident surprising. 

Her words, 'Cross River deserves some accolades for the job they have done so far. The preventive measures, the production of nose masks and other proactive measures which they deployed, we really commend them.

'We had the fear of being quarantined but all that is over now as nothing like that happened, we want to believe the measured pitch in place by the state has made the status (COVID-19) free

'There was a lot of anxiety before coming to Cross River, but I am glad we were given a warm reception. 

'We are surprised at the level of work that has been put in place so far, all the people we saw were all on nose masks with different teams at various points in the state,' she said. 

Dr Betta Edu the Commissioner for Health disclosed that 'It should be noted that Cross River was the first state to start the no mask, no movement policy, we blocked all borders too, very early and we were carrying out drills twice a day and later reduced it to once a day as part of proactive measures.

'We want to make it known that we are not at loggerheads with the Federal government or NCDC we are just protecting the interest of Cross Riverians. 

'We are partnering with UCTH and all medical and para-medical associations including  Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Medical Laboratory laboratory Scientists, nurses and pharmacists in the area of training and retraining for efficiency and quality service delivery as it concerns COVID-19', Edu observed. 

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