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Residents urge investigation of ‘self-isolated’ oil workers in Cross River

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Concerned residents of Cross River State have called on the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to investigate the reported stay of 26 oil rig workers at Tinapa Hotel, Calabar for an alleged self-quarantine.

Top sources close to the hospitality said the workers allegedly lodged last Saturday and quietly pay for all of the hotel’s 250 rooms.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, had Tuesday denied knowledge of the development, stating: “I have not heard of that. I know of the 35 persons who tried to make their way into the state but were stopped. This other group of people I have never heard about them. I am just hearing about them for the first time and I will send our team down to confirm the story.”

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However, as at press time, response was yet to be gotten from her despite several calls put to her mobile line.

But the Chairman, Clinical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Prof. Ogbu Ngim, while confirming that the commissioner had mentioned the facility as a backup isolation centre in the state, added that further inquiries should be sought from her.

Besides, close government sources yesterday confirmed that the team dispatched on Tuesday to the almost moribund hotel confirmed the presence of 26 oil workers who were on self-isolation amid alleged silence from the state government on the matter.

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The sources claimed: “Some government officials that went there (the hotel) were shocked to realise that the oil workers were staying there, but the actual number is 26 and not 28.

“They are staying in isolation in their rooms as one floor was cordoned off. Even the waiters and waitresses that take food to them drop them outside their doors where they pick them up only for the hotel workers to come to same spots and hygienically take the plates away.”

A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in the state, Charles Eko, stated: “This is a serious matter. Whether the oil workers are there or not, the government should say something and I am calling on the NCDC to urgently step in and establish the status of the people.”

Another indigene, Patrick Etta, also urged NCDC’s intervention.

A fresh visit to the place revealed its obsoleteness, as only two policemen were seen at its entrance.

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