Cross River commissioner flays FG’s approach on checking COVID-19

Cross River State Commissioner Betta Edu

THE Cross River State Government has raised concerns over the approach of the Federal Government in managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, stressing that the virus is being glorified and the fear factor over elaborated.

The state government is convinced that rather than focusing on preventing the coronavirus from spreading, the country is focused on massive testing, which is hurting the already fragile economy and undermining the health system of the country.

The Cross River State Commissioner for Health and Chair of the State COVID-19 Response Team, Dr. Betta Edu disclosed this in Calabar while speaking with newsmen on Friday in Calabar.

According to her, “rather than getting commendation for our efforts in preventing the outbreak of the virus in the state, we continue to get knocks from people saying ‘no, you have not tested enough.’

“I want you to sit down and think of how much we have helped another economy elsewhere to grow. If as a nation, we carry out two million to six million tests in three months, and each of those testing materials using the PCR and genies pack costs at least $150 dollars.

“Multiply that amount by six million and see how much the country that has a fragile and sinking economy is doling out to other countries. 

“Rather than test people who come down with the symptoms, we want to do massive screening using the PCR method and the genies pack.

“It is sad to know that our country will refuse to support a state that has been preventing the virus and everyone is insinuating, pressurizing and insisting that Cross River State has cases of coronavirus and COVID-19 and we are trying to hide or suppress it.

“We have so glorified the virus that everyday people are waiting to hear numbers, and maybe at this point prevention does not work anymore and you don’t get any support to continue to prevent cases or your people.

“We have so magnified coronavirus that health workers have abandoned patients to die and people no longer want to go to any health facility.”

She said thousands of people are dying in the country daily of malaria, malnutrition, high blood pressure, diabetes and many other diseases and nobody is talking about all these.

The commissioner called on the Federal Government, the Minister for Health as well as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to support prevention and disease control, which should be a pride and not shame.

She also deplored the lack of support from the Federal Government and its agencies in preventing the spread of coronavirus despite the fact that Cross River State has 46,000 Cameroonian refugees.


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