There is anxiety in Calabar, Cross River State, as the natives await the arrival of the presidential task force on COVID-19 in the state, to ascertain the true status of the virus. Cross River and Kogi states are the only states without positive cases.
The planned visit of the federal government’s team to the state is a fall-out of the petition by the Efik Leadership Foundation. In the letter the ELF had expressed concern over the way and manner the governor was handling the issue, especially in the area of testing, as well as the amount of money the governor took from the coffers of the state and local governments, for the COVID-19 fight.
Chairman of the board of trustees, ELF, Richard Duke said in a statement which was obtained by our correspondent on Thursday, that the quick response by the president to their letter was heart-warming.
“Our specific prayers to Mr. President included sending a team of experts from the NCDC to the State and equipping federal government health institutions in the State to undertake testing and other preparation and containment measures in the response to Covid-19, measures that regrettably the state government had either disdained or even rebuffed.
“Today, two days after we submitted our letter, we are greatly relieved and pleased that Mr President, through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID19, heeded our requests and directed not only that an expert delegation visit the State but also that Federal medical institutions across the country will be formally incorporated into the Covid-19 response in the States, including Cross River State. This latter decision is a most welcome added boost to the National Covid-19 response of which ELF can be justifiably proud.”
“The ELF wishes to express its deep and most sincere thanks to Mr President, the Minister of Health, the PTF on Covid-19, the NCDC as well as the many men and women of goodwill in and outside the State who commended and expressed support for our efforts.”
Duke lamented that the Foundation was “surprised and deeply saddened, however, that our sincere and completely apolitical act of concern and love for all the dear people of our State was grossly misunderstood and our NGO maligned by individuals who obviously have a very dangerously limited understanding of the Covid-19 pandemic and the grave dangers it presents to us all.
“We look forward to the visit by the Federal Government delegation and continue to look to the State Government for a much more robust, comprehensive and all-inclusive response to this pandemic.”