The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday, dispatched a 17-man team to engage with the Cross River State government in setting up the state’s COVID-19 response and aligning it with that of the national response.
Also, the Federal Government has pleaded with doctors in the state to call off their one-day old strike.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
He made this known at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday.
Ehanire said the team was led by the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHCDA); Dr Faisal Shuaib. Further, the minister said that the team left Abuja for Calabar on Monday morning. Their mandate is to engage with the Cross River State government in setting up its COVID-19 response. As reported by 1stnews.
“Agencies and many departments of the Ministry of Health, like NCDC, Hospital Services and Family Health; are represented in the delegation, to ensure the appropriate technical handshake between the federal and state service delivery pillars. It is also to ensure that the disruption of routine medical services; which has been observed in many states, is minimised or eliminated in Cross River State.
“We have also called on the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Cross River State to suspend their strike and receive the ministry’s delegation,” Ehanire said.
He said that at the request of Gov. Ben Ayade; a senior immigration officer was on board to study the border challenges with Cameroon. Also, the minister noted that a port health officer was also part of the team to assess the risks posed by sea travelers arriving at the state ports; particularly from neighboring Central African countries, such as Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and Angola.
He stated that the state was known to be a producer of personal protective equipment (PPE); including face masks, for which the governor wanted SON’s endorsement in order to have access to patronage.
Ehanire also noted that following the attack on the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi; arrangements were under way to beef up security at the facility to ensure protection of staffers and patients. He said that the Federal Government would do all it could to attend to the needs of the citizens; while seeking ways of engaging the state government.
Further, he spoke on the rising figure of COVID-19 in the country.
“The unfortunate figures on COVID-19 we see in other countries every day are sobering…It is not the way we want to go.”
According to him, Nigerians need to protect themselves more; even as he reiterated his advice to citizens that it was not enough to ask what the government is doing.
“The question also should be: ‘what are you doing?’; adding “whether as communities, associations or individuals, we are all in it together.
Ehanire, who noted that the fight against COVID-19 was not for the Federal Government alone; said that it was highly contagious. Also, he stated that if Nigerians did not cooperate and sacrifice; or refused to get treatment and decided to infect others; they could be responsible for some cases leading to death.
However, he revealed that the Federal Government, through the NCDC; had launched an e-learning platform on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for healthcare workers, urging them to utilise it