• 100- bed Isolation Centre Not Activated—NMA

The Cross River State branch of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has raised the alarm that confirmed cases of Coronavirus patients in the state were stranded following alleged non-activation of the state-owned 100-bed capacity Isolation Centre at Adiabo in the outskirts of Calabar.

In a petition to the Minister of Health, dated July 22, 2020, the NMA, Cross River State branch, said: “It is very disturbing to report that the Cross River State Government has refused to activate the state-owned 100-bed capacity Isolation Centre at Adiabo for immediate use, despite the urgent need for the facility.

“The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) five-bed capacity Isolation Centre is the only functional Isolation Centre in the state. This centre is easily filled to capacity, leaving many confirmed cases stranded and referred back home.”

The letter, signed by the State Chairman, Dr. Agam E. Ayuk and Secretary, Dr Ezoke Epoke, after a review of the resolutions of meeting, held between the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF)/Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) COVID-19 delegation, said: “There has been no significant progress in the overall outbreak response in view of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) strategic COVID-19 response pillars.

“Cross River State Government should be encouraged to give the National Rapid Response Team the needed support to carry out their terms of reference in supporting the State’s response activities and ensure containment of the outbreak.

“The presence of two testing centres in the state was expected to lead to an upscale in testing. However, that is not the case, especially in the state-owned Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital Testing Laboratory. The facility has carried out more than 50 tests for COVID-19, yielding many confirmed positive tests. To our greatest dismay, most of these positive results have not been transmitted to the NCDC situation report room.

“The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) Molecular Laboratory, which has reported about 75 percent of the results captured in the NCDC Situation Report for Cross River State, as at July 22, 2020, should be upgraded for large-scale testing, with the provision of needed equipment and facilities…”

Reacting to the petition, the State Commissioner for Health and Chairman Taskforce Committee on COVID-19, Dr. Betta Edu, yesterday, dismissed all issues raised, as untrue.

du said: “The 100-bed Isolation Centre is open, and a man was even there for five days, and later said he wanted to go home. It is open. The problem is that they don’t want to find out.”

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