Cross River State COVID 19 response Taskforce Chairman, Dr. Betta Edu has cried out to the Federal Government to financially support the state on 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 has returned negative results despite being surrounded by states with positive cases and Cameroon with over 1000 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 state 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 to Cameroon with over 1000 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 1000 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!!!!
Speaking further, the taskforce chairman clears the doubt that not all persons that sneezes are COVID-19 infected and that 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 said the person earlier taken to 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 the person didn’t meet the criteria.
On the sustainable palliative measure introduced by the state Governor, Sir Ben Ayade the state taskforce chairman 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 8000 youths be recruited out which 2000 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 1000 disease surveillance control officers who are expected to help in tackling Covid-19 and prevent community transmission.
She decried the non support from the federal government and thus, appeals 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 state has received #240 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 1000 cases.” says Dr Edu.