Since March 2020 Criminal Justice in the State has suffered some set back as the Correctional Service has been unable to admit new inmates into the facility. This was occasioned by the COVID-19 Pandemic as management of the Correctional center did not want a COVID-19 out break in the facility which might follow the introduction of a positive case into the facility which didn’t have an Isolation center.
The fight against COVID-19 to ensure that cross riverians both old and young remain safe continues as the Cross River State Government through the Ministry of Health has successfully set up an Isolation Center amidst other necessary palliative supports in Afokang Prisons to check the health status of both the old inmates and the ones to be sent for custody to curtail the random spread of the virus from any infected inmate or intending inmate to another.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the new Comptroller Compt. Dankaro Thomas commended the CRSG under the watch of Sen Prof Ben Ayade for doing exceedingly well to curtail the spread of the virus that has made the State gain both National and International recognition being the last State to have recorded a case in Nigeria and presently having a very low number of confirmed cases.
“I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the State Governor Sen Prof Ben Ayade for his wonderful achievements in the Health Sector, especially on the COVID-19 pandemic response, he showed his intellectual ability again by appointing a youthful, vibrant, highly intellectual and versatile lady to handle the affairs of the health sector. Dr Edu responded to our request within one hour, this shows the State was prepared for this pandemic!.
“This pandemic has affected our criminal justice system and the Calabar Correctional Service is pleased with the swift response/support to salvage the situation as police, DSS and even the drug enforcement agencies no longer have space to hold criminals that should be at the correctional centers. on behalf of the Comptroller General Ja’afaru Ahmed I wish to appreciate the CRS Governor Sen Prof Ben Ayade as well as his Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu for this swift response and tremendous support within a space of an hour we made this appeal.”
Responding, the Health Commissioner Dr Betta Edu congratulated the new Comptroller by welcoming him to CRS on behalf of the CRSG while applauding him for setting the ball rolling without any waste of time. “We’re pleased as a State to have you here and on behalf of our amiable and Digital Governor of CRS Sen Prof Ben Ayade, i welcome you to CRS. I appreciate the drive you arrived with, it shows you came here to work, and you have the people at heart. In a bid to curtail the spread of this virus especially in Correctional Services knowing how important this is, the State Governor Sen Prof Ben Ayade has given a direct order that an Isolation Center be set up in Afokang Prisons and am glad that has just been done alongside other items/palliatives.
“The State Epidemiologist and her team as well as the Rapid Response Team will always be here to take samples from all those to be admitted in, while the remain at the isolation centers for 24 hours if results return negative thre can join others in the general cell, if positive then they should be moved to Isolation room 2 within the correctional service facility where they will be treated and isolated for 14 days till they become negative. Health workers must also use PPEs always when attending to new inmates to avoid contacting COVID-19 or spread of virus that could lead to outbreak and death in the facility.
In a vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary Bar. Takon Asu thanked the Comptroller for taking the right step by coming to the CRSMOH to seek this support while assuring him and his team of continuous support and a safe stay in CRS. items donated to the Correctional Service includes; Hand Sanitizers, Infrared Thermometers, Digital Thermometers, Hospital Beds, pillow and Mattresses, side cupboards, Drip Stands, Nose Masks, Overall Jackets/Shoes, Surgical Gloves, Face Shields, Isolation gowns, bedsheets, Tissue Papers, Tooth Brush, Assorted Drugs, Tooth Pastes, Cartoons of Biscuits, etc.