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Cross River backs down on quarantine threat to visiting NCDC officials


Cross River State government has backed down on its threat to isolate officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) who are a visit to the state.

The team led by Dr. Omobolande Olowu, arrived the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar about 9:18am yesterday and was received by Commissioner for Health and Chairman State Taskforce Committee on COVID-19, Dr. Beta Edu, before heading to the Ministry of Health for a meeting.

Shortly after the meeting, the commissioner took the NCDC team to the General Hospital, Calabar, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) Isolation Centre, Tinapa Isolation Centre, Palace of the Obong of Calabar and other places.

Before the visit, the state government had threatened to quarantine the NCDC officials for 14 days and subject them to COVID-19 test, as suspicion was high that the team may pollute the state, which has so far been free of the virus.

However, the NCDC team was impressed at the preparedness of Cross River in its fight against coronavirus saying, with what is on ground, the state could only be COVID-19-free as it had put in place preventive measures since January.

Moreover, contact tracing and sensitisation vehicles were sighted everywhere to further confirm the state’s readiness and free status. Dr. Olowu disclosed that while other states were wasting time, the state government did the needful, which partly explains why it has not any case of pandemic.

“I commend Governor Benedict Ayade for being proactive because the state started in January, while other states were still wasting time and living in denial that the virus will not spread to them.

“But Cross River State took the bull by the horn and seeing the figures in the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), it said we will not fold our arms. You took proactive steps, shut down your borders, started producing masts and even screening, which deserve commendations.

“I believe that must be the reason the state is yet to record any case up till now and also to congratulate the governor for the garment factory that has produced 1.5 million masts and distributed free of charge to Cross River people,” he stated.

Responding, Edu solicited cooperation of the Federal Government in equipping the isolation centres in the state and assist with personal protective equipment (PPEs), saying since the country recorded index case on February 27, 2020 the state has put all necessary measures in place to contain spread of the COVID-19.


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