Concerned groups and individuals have continued to raise concerns over the poor state of preparations by the Cross River state government with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apart from constituting task force committee to enforce closure of borders, embargo on religious and social gatherings as well as restrictions on the number of passengers in public transports and issuance of contradictory orders, nothing tangible is on ground in terms of technical equipment and manpower requirement.
According to Citizens Solution Network and the Young Peoples Party, YPP, even the much publicized isolation centre at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH boasts of four beds only and a faulty anaesthetic machine initially showcased by the state’s health commissioner as a ventilator.
Speaking after a tour of the centre, Leader of Citizens Solution Network and Chairman of YPP, Richard Friday implored the state government to be sincere and avoid toying with human lives.
According to them, “What we saw during our inspection is quite disheartening. Only four beds were in the isolation centre and questionable medical equipment.
“Last week, social media were agog with pictures of the state health commissioner, Dr. Beta Edu posing with alleged five ventilators procured by Governor Ben Ayade for the centre.”
The claim was quickly countered by a social commentator, James Ibor who revealed that the equipment were mere aesthetic machines with limited capacity and function compared to a ventilator. The state government is yet to react up till now.
To complicate issues, Cross River state has the lowest number of doctors and nurses in its employ as compared to other states in the South-South region with only 33 doctors and less than 100 nurses according to records from the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives.