By Magnus Effiong
The government of Cross River state has sent a Save Our Souls appeal to the federal government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for financial support and also the establishment of isolation centres as well as provision of ventilators to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The State Commissioner for Health and Chairman, Covid-19 Response Team, Dr. Betta Edu, who made the appeal during a press conference, Sunday, said “Cross River, at this moment, is still Covid-19 free. We are doing our best to contain the spread of this virus and that is why we have shut down all land and waterways entries. Cross River is in dire need of the federal government financial support to help us remain Covid-19 free.
“As a state, we are appealing for financial support from the federal government, more ventilators and the setting up of a testing centre to help us have our samples tested here. The process of sending samples to other states and wait for the results is taking too many days. We want our own centre that will give us result within six hours.”
According to her, it is necessary for the federal government to consider the State as a top priority because “Cross River is a red spot.”
“Being a state that is being surrounded by neighboring states like Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Benue and the Republic of Cameroon, which are already battling to contain the spread of the disease, it will be fool hardy for us to fold our hands and allow the disease to over-power us.
“We have been struggling to cope with the fight against the spread of the virus into our state. It’s really not easy collecting samples from Cross River and sending them to another state for test,” she said.
On the N240 million purported to have been received by the Cross River government from the Abuja-based administration to fight Covid-19, Dr Edu described it as untrue, explaining that the State was yet to receive a dime from the Centre.
“I have seen various reports that the state received N240m the from federal government. Cross River State has not receive a dime from NCDC or the federal government to fight Coronavirus,” she stated.
The Task Force Chairman added that the response team would soon embark on active case search to unravel cases which are yet to be known, and that the state was also hiring 1,000 health surveillance officers. She said the last two samples from suspected cases sent for test came out negative.