By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
In readiness to tackle any reported cases of the outbreak of Coronavirus in Cross River State, the state government has deployed over 5,000 health workers to the 18 local government areas of the state..
Also plans have been concluded to engage volunteers to backup the already existing health workers on ground in all the heath institutions in the state.
This was disclosed to newsmen in Calabar by the Hon.. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu, while briefing newsmen on what the state government had done or is doing concerning the issue of Coronavirus.
She said, “as I speak to you, some are at the various health facilities while some are in the communities carrying out sensitisation exercises to the populace.”.
To beef up the team, she said, the state government had engaged the services of community volunteers whom had already been trained on how to manage any reported case of Coronavirus.
Most importantly, she said, is that most of the volunteers have been deployed to the border communities within the state to watch for any eventuality or causality.
For now, she added, “there is no reported cases of Coronavirus in Cross River State “.
In answer to a question, Edu said, “we have presently two isolation Centres in the state. One in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) and the General hospital, Ogoja”
According to her, “if need be and we need to expand, government had already agreed that it will use one of its hotels that has 230 rooms into an Isolation centre. The hotel should be able to carry over 500 Cross Riverians at once. Plans are one the way to get those places at least prepared to the best of our ability”.
Edu also disclosed that there are six ventilators already in the state waiting for any reported cases. Some of them are to be serviced before putting them into use.
The Health Commissioner regretted that up till now, Federal Government has not released any support to the states, “we are still expecting support from them as well as from the international communities.
“Whatever material we are using now is through the support and approval of His Excellency Senator Ben Ayade, the Executive governor of Cross River State. He has been very supportive and concerned over the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the plight of Cross Riverians”.
She reassured Cross Riverians that government is ready to play its part but advised that “members of the public should adhere to government directives and stay at home as well as practice “social distancing” to avoid contracting Coronavirus…”.
..Government, she said, had directed the closure of markets, borders as well as interstate travels for two weeks.
Also she announced that the leadership of both Christians and Muslim had in a meeting with the state government mutually agreed to shutdown their places of worship until further notice.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Comrade Asu Okang, reassured Cross Riverians that government is in charge of the situation given all the measures it had already taken.
He sued for the cooperation and the support of the people to be able to manage this unfortunate situation. The Ministry of Health and my Ministry are working in synergy towards recording a huge success as far as the Coronavirus issue is concerned.
.He advised those who patronise the social media to always go for the real news rather than thrive on rumours. He commended the effort and support from His Excellency Senator Ben Ayade since the outbreak of the virus in the world.