The Commissioner for Health and Chairman of Cross River COVID-19 Response Team, Dr Betta Edu, has disclosed that she has recruited 1,000 health surveillance workers for community testing across the state.
Speaking during a weekly media briefing in Calabar on Sunday, Dr Betta, said it is imperative to hire more hands to be able to handle COVID-19 response and thereafter we shall deploy them to the secondary health sector.
She said: “We are going to embark on an active case search rather than waiting for the case1case. We are going to move in with 1,000 health surveillance workers from community to community doing random sampling.
“But we are happy to say the state is still free as of April19, 2020. We sent in two samples and they came out negative. Besides, there are criteria for testing and we have even gone beyond that into community testing,” she stated.
Crying out that the state is occupying a danger zone, she said: “We are in dire need of support from federal government because of our peculiar circumstances and the need to secure our international borders and our citizens. We need financial help; we need ventilators and personal protective equipment, PPE, from the federal government, private and voluntary organisations.
“Akwa Ibom has cases. Cameroon has over 800 cases and community transmission is on the rise. We are in the middle of the map.
“We have heard that the Presidency has ordered that some palliatives be sent to the state. So far we have never received any funding from the presidential task force nor from NCDC. So we are appealing for help to save our border communities.”
The chairman further said the task force, in spite of the difficult situation the state has found itself, would continue to partner with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, by supporting the health instution with personal 1 equipment, PPE, and other medical equipment in case of emergency.
She_, however, said the state had concluded arrangement to set up testing centres just as the Ogoja isolation centre is ready to cater for people in the northern part of the state which takes about nine hours to get to UCTH.