COVID-19: Support needed by affected states, matter of urgency ― Cross River Commissioner

The National Chairman, Nigeria Commissioners for Health Forum and Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, has called on the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force (PTF) and the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to equip and provide greater resources to support states in their fight against the Coronavirus.

Dr Edu noted that to guarantee the safety of health workers and better position the health infrastructure in various states for effective service delivery, adequate intervention and support system must be provided for states to leverage on as they continued to work tirelessly to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

It would be recalled that at a joint session of the PTF and NCDC last week in Abuja, both federal agencies engaged and examined strategies to tackle the resurgence of the country’s second wave of the pandemic, where they commended Cross River for playing a front line role in the fight against the virus, while also commending other states for resilience in the fight against the virus.

Dr Edu, who is also the Commissioner for Health and Chairman of the Cross River State COVID-19 Response Committee, spoke at the event, listing the challenges and efforts made by herself and her colleagues so far.

In her interaction with pressmen on behalf of the Health Commissioners forum, in Calabar, Dr Edu, reiterated the need for the Federal Government to extend greater logistics to the affected states in order to revive heritage laboratories and isolation centres for victims of COVID-19.

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Edu also thanked the PTF for a job well done last year and the support given to states across the country, noting that much more would be needed to be done to reinforce state responses across all states; emphasising that though the arrival of the vaccines are anticipated this month, the cold chain equipment are very much needed.

In the face of the second wave of COVID-19, she noted that the support needed by the affected states is a matter emergency, calling for urgent intervention by the PTF and NCDC leadership.

Dr Chikwe, the NCDC Director General, in his reaction, noted that 85 per cent of the equipment required to repair and equip the Cross River Reference Laboratory was purchased and would soon be deployed.

Edu narrated that in a similar meeting held last week in Abuja with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, she was impressed by the level of response to Cross River and other states in the Federation with peculiar challenges bordering the fight against COVID-19.


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