The Cross River Government has called on the Federal Government, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, for financial support in its fight against preventing the spread of the virus.
Dr Betta Edu, the State Commissioner for Health and Chairman of COVID-19 Task Force Team, made the appeal at a news conference in Calabar on Friday.
Edu said that the state was more concerned about prevention of the spread of COVID-19, hence the support of all stakeholders and relevant health agencies to sustain the strategy.
According to her, the state had shut down over 300 legal and illegal border entries with a view to avoid the spread of the disease into the state.
She said that Cross River was surrounded by states that had recorded cases of COVID-19, including Cameroon, thereby asking the Federal Government to support the state financially to police her borders.
“Cross River is in the middle of states with COVID-19 including Cameroon.
“We have thousands of Cameroonian refugees in the state. We need more resources for advocacy, personal protection equipment, sanitisers and money to pay health surveillance officers, among others.
“The Federal Government and NCDC should not only focus on states with the virus. They should also stretch their hand to Cross River and support the prevention strategies.
“We have been manning over 300 legal and illegal borders across the state and we pay the security and local vigilantes daily.
“We also want support in the area of equipping the Molecular Laboratory we have to help us test cases of COVID-19 in the state,” Edu said.
She also urged the Federal Government to make orders for the production of face masks from the state garment factory with a view to stimulating the state’s economy.
The commissioner further said that the state started the prevention against the spread of the virus in January by setting up the Emergency Operation Centre to boost preparedness.
According to her, the state had distributed over 5,230 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), 2,000 hand sanitisers and 1.5 million face masks to residents across the state.
She added that the state had deployed health surveillance officers across the state to get samples that met NCDC requirements for testing.
The Commissioner added that 400 health personnel have been trained to work in the state’s 130-bed isolation centre.
Edu lauded residents of the state for obeying the state government directives on “no mask no movement”, saying that the task force will continue to enforce the order.