March 4, 2021

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COVID-19: Fear Grips C’Riverians

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Chiemeka Adindu, Calabar

Reactions are beginning to trail the statement made by the Cross River state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, that he has surrendered the state to the federal government, following the suspension of the ban on interstate travels.

Some citizens are calling on the governor to rather redouble his efforts in the fight against the virus. They maintained that the governor should show some level of responsibility to the residents knowing that the state would face more danger than ever as inter state boundaries have re-opened and local flights set to commence.

Some respondents expressed concerns that their safety will be in jeopardy if the governor withdrew totally from enforcing the guidelines put in place to contain the spread of the virus.

While commending his efforts in ensuring that the state has remained the only state without a confirmed case, they reminded the governor that no one can tell who will be affected if there is a confirmed case in the state.

Ayade, while celebrating during the cocktail last week said, “Dear Cross Riverians, I must congratulate all of you for going through phase one without any Confirmed case of COVID-19, with the easing of restrictions and the opening of borders and the airport, it’s actually time for all of us to individually shut down. Take responsibility; protect yourself.

“Now, I have no control. I have officially handed over Cross River to the Federal Government as far as COVID-19 is concerned because I can’t close my borders anymore, I don’t have control over the airspace. So, whatever happens going forward, I wish to say kudos to Cross River and Cross Riverians for being a state and a people that walked through this big challenge and ended up victorious.

Cross River has done such a great battle and won. We have a 100-bed isolation centre that is lying fallow till date, nobody is there. We have doctors on standby but nobody is at the isolation centre because our state has zero COVID-19 case”.

In an interview with the State Commissioner for Health and Chairman, COVID-19 taskforce, Dr. Betta Edu, she clarified that influx of people from other states necessitated the governor’s statement.

She warned that everyone should be more alert than ever before as the state may record a positive case of COVID-19 anytime soon since the embargo on border closure has been lifted.

She said “basically what he means by that is since the federal government has said everywhere should be opened. We can’t argue with them, we can’t struggle with them.

“People have been coming into the state in their troops from Abuja since the ban was lifted. The Almajiris are trooping in Lories and we have pictorial evidence. So basically, there’s nothing we can do anymore.

“We therefore urge Cross Riverians to continue to adhere to all protective measures that have been put out. People have flooded into the state and very son, you will hear about positive cases”.

She also confirmed that the NCDC had activated a testing centre in the state, urging everyone to feel free to walk into the new test centers, get tested, and get protected.

“We have started testing at the former Infectious Disease Centre, IDH, and now Lawrence Henshaw Memorial hospital. So people can go on their own for testing”.

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