The Cross River Government has appealed to the Federal Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to set up a COVID-19 testing centre and provide ventilators in the state.
Dr Betta Edu, the state Commissioner for Health who is also the Chairman of COVID-19 taskforce team in the state, made the appeal during a press conference on Sunday in Calabar.
Edu said that establishing the test centre in the state would reduce the waiting time for results and ease the stress of transporting samples for suspected cases of COVID-19 to Irru in Edo or Ebonyi states for testing.
She explained that Cross River was a “red spot” as the neighbouring states of Akwa Ibom and Benue as well as the Republic of Cameroon, already had cases of the virus.
According to her, it is important for the Federal Government to set up a testing centre as well as financial support to help the state contain the spread of the virus.
She said that the state was also engaging 1,000 health surveillance officers to help in the fight against COVID-19 in the state.
“Cross River at this moment is still COVID-19 free. We are doing our best to contain the spread of this virus and that is why we have shut down all land borders and waterways entries.
“As a state, we are appealing for more ventilators from the Federal Government and the setting up of a testing centre to help us have our samples tested here.
“The process of sending the samples to other states and wait for the results is taking too many days. We want our own centre that will give us result within six hours.
“Cross River is in dire need of Federal Government financial support to help us remain COVID-19 free,” she said.
She, however, refuted the N240million allegedly given to the state by the Federal Government, adding that the state was yet to receive any financial support.
Edu said that the last two samples of suspected COVID-19 cases taken from the state for testing returned negative. (nan)