The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has described as excellent, the various measures adopted by Cross River State against the pandemic, including a drive through test centre established by Governor Ben Ayade for the testing of samples for COVID-19.
The team was in the state on Monday to assess its readiness for the management of the phase two of the pandemic.
Speaking immediately after inspecting the testing center, a drive through testing facility as well as the state garment factory where they witnessed the production of Personal Protective Equipment including face shields, leader of the PTF team, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, lauded Governor Ayade for what he dubbed his creative imagination.
“I Think it’s excellent. I think it is incredible the level of innovation, creative imagination seen in Cross River since the team arrived here earlier today (Monday) and we are really impressed with what is going on in Cross River State and we believe that the sample collection centre will be a boost to the Covid 19 outfit response that the Cross River State government has elaborated in the last few weeks and I think it is really impressive.”
Elaborating on the mission of the team to the state, Dr.Shaibu who is also the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Healthcare Department Agency disclosed:
“One of the reasons we are here today as the PTF and the Federal Ministry of Health is to come and see what Cross River State has done so far as a second phase of interactions with Cross River State. Just like the first team that came here were also impressed with the level of seriousness, the level of innovation that the Cross River State government has brought to bear.”
On assessment of the face masks and face shields produced by the state’s garment factory, Shuaibu stated:
“We where earlier at the garment factory where we have seen face masks and face shields and overalls being produced. Our partners, NAFDAC, the Standard Organization of Nigeria were really impressed with what is going on there.
“ So we made a commitment to dig deep and see how we can collaborate with the government of Cross River to make sure that all of the work that is going on there will easily meet global standards. We have already assessed physically and our representatives from these two organizations are happy with what they have seen.”
According to him,
“We just need some further testing to make sure that we can now scale up and make sure that Nigerians are able to benefit from the manufacturing that we are already seeing in Cross River State. It is an opportunity to encourage other governors to be very proactive in making sure that we use such an instance where there is necessity to become great innovators for PPE’s like we need right now.”
Speaking on the partnership with the state government, the National Health care December Agency’s CEO said:
“It’s really Incredible what we have seen in the last few hours and the federal government will continue to partner with Cross River State government so that other governors can be encouraged by what is going on. In the next few hours we are going to continue our collaboration to look at the Public health emergency operation centre”
He further said:
“We will also look at the issues around the borders to see how FG can support Cross River State to maintain intergrity and security along the borders. But overall, we have had very fruitful conversations with His Excellency and his team and we are really amazed by all of the work that is going on.”
Responding, Governor Ayade thanked Shuaib for his understanding of the issues around the state’s handling of COVID-19.
“Let me specially commend Dr. Faisal for his personal intelligence and understanding of the local situation. Let me thank the team and I want to thank the federal ministry of health for deeming it fit to send a team to come and look at what Cross River has done. I want to thank you for for your kind words and I want to say that the federal government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the PTF and Covid 19 response Team, the Minister for Health, the DG NCDC for sending a team with NAFDAC, SON to look at our PPE’s from the face shields to the face masks to the overalls with a view to supporting encouraging and patronising us.”
According to the governor,
“that is the incentive that Nigerians want to see and that is the impetus that will encourage other governors to go into it.”
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