Cross River to test 8100 persons as NCDC sets to restart COVID-19 Reference Lab

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The Cross River State Government has revealed that it plans to test 8100 persons for Covid-19 across the state within the next one month, this is as the Nigeria Center for Disease Control,NCDC announced that the state Covid-19 reference lab at the Infectious Disease Hospital, vandalised during the riot that trailed the endsars protest, will be reopened soon.

This was revealed when a team from the NCDC paid a courtesy visit to Dr Betta Edu, the State Commissioner of Health, in Calabar the Cross River State capital.

Dr Betta while speaking said; “Our target is to get 450 persons per Local government tested within the next one month. we have sent more hands to the EOC to ensure we don’t lack the manpower in that area.

“The EOC team will meet twice a week especially now that the lab is restarted while strengthening surveillance in the field.” Betta said.

Betta further added that there is work ongoing around sensitization of the public as regards the covid vaccine, and “other pertinent issues are around the isolation centres that need to be set up as soon as possible to accommodate larger numbers.” she said.

Earlier speaking, Mr Tunde Jegede leader of the team, praised the Cross River Governor for his sustained role in ensuring the prevention of the virus and conveyed the goodwill of Dr Chikwe Ikekweazu, NCDC DG, to the government and people of Cross River State.

Tunde added that the team was in the state “from the National to support the State in setting up her lab amidst other challenges bothering the COVID-19 pandemic which we will address.”

The DG of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong who was part of the meeting enumerated the areas the state has recorded success as well as areas that need urgent attention and support. She further explained that it was the state’s head start in tackling COVID-19 that has today made the fight an easy-going one even though most health workers are fatigued and will need incentives and support.

Dr Janet further revealed that Governor Ben Ayade has deployed staff, rebuilt and furnished the Reference Laboratory and that NCDC provided New PCR machine and some other types of equipment, including medical consumables needed, and that members of the public can go there to be tested free of charge on Mondays to Fridays.

It will be recalled that The State’s COVID-19 response suffered some setbacks following the vandalisation and looting of the Reference COVID-19 testing Laboratory at Dr Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital (IDH) after the endsars protest.

The state government has since commenced work at the hospital following the second wave of COVID-19, so as to support surveillance and massive testing in the state.

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