Cross River reviews COVID-19 response strategy

By Eme Offiong, Calabar

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The government of Cross River State has reviewed and issued fresh directives on its COVID-19 response strategy.

The directive came sequel to recent report of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, on the spread of COVID-19 to states in south-south Nigeria.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the governor, Mr. Christian Ita indicates that starting from midnight on April 3rd, 2020, no person would be allowed in public without a nose or face mask.

He said failure to adhere to this directive would lead to the arrest and quarantine of the offenders for 14 days.

Free Supplies
According to him, the government will begin distribution of face and nose mask produced at the garment factory, to every resident rather than to those living in border communities.

“The Cross River State Garment Factory is directed to work round the clock to produce masks, while observing industrial safe distancing. Government to distribute masks for free to citizens and residents of the state to meet demand,he said.

The Special Adviser said that those who for one reason or the other are unable to get masks from government before the new restrictions kick in, are advised to purchase theirs from shops selling the item.

He emphasised that all public gatherings remain banned, markets should remain closed except where foodstuff is sold.

Mr Ita stated that the governor has directed the Ministry of Humanitarian and Welfare Services as well as the food bank to commence distribution of free food to vulnerable people.

Border Lockdown
On movements, Mr Ita said all exit and entry routes into the state are now completely shut.

According to the Special Adviser, “All commissioners, special advisers, chairmen, Director Generals, directors and members of boards and commissions as well as special assistants, are co-opted to assist the COVID-19 task force, in the enforcement and ensuring compliance with the guidelines aimed at keeping the state free of the pandemic.”

The task force and those co-opted for the exercise, which commences on April 3rd, would be provided kits as well as receive the support of the Nigerian Police, the military, Homeland Security Services and the Border Patrol Agency.

Also, the governor has directed the state power company operating the 23megawatt plant to, without fail, power street lights in the metropolis from 6 o clock in the evening to 6 o clock daily.

He urged public spirited individuals and organisations that are willing to serve as volunteers to support enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines to indicate interest.

The government has also provided phone numbers to every residents to call for the supply of free nose mask, free food supply, while the Cross River State Microfinance Bank has been instructed to function for 24 hours.

Confidence Okwuchi