The Cross Rivers State Government Gov. Woke has alleged that Federal Government (FG), through the Federal Ministry of Health, is planning to import infected samples of Covid19 into the state, warning it against any such move.
This purported plan was revealed during a press conference by Asu Okang, Cross Rivers State commissioner for information.
According to Okang there is a leaked memo in possession of the state which gave it a clue to the intention of the federal government to import the lethal virus into Cross River State.
He said the memo was written to the Nigerian Navy Hospital, Calabar to inform the management of the federal government’s plan to train people on how to deploy genes expert machine for the importation of the virus.
He said, “We received a leaked memo that was written to a Nigerian Navy Hospital, Calabar informing them of the Federal Government intention, through the Federal Ministry of Health, to train users of the gene expert machine that have been lying fallow at the Nigerian Navy Hospital in Calabar since its commissioning by President Muhammadu Buhari the machine for the importation of the virus.”
Okang stated that the state suspected a foul play because of the Covid-19-free status of the state.
He added that the suspicion was further heightened by the desperation of the federal government to train people for the purpose coupled with the decision not to keep the state government in the loop.
“We wonder why the federal government at a time like this in a state that has never recorded any case of Covid-19 since its inception– as a matter of fact the only state yet to do that– the government is so much in a hurry to train people in Calabar on the use of the machine
“That’s not the major point or worry, but that this memo was sent to the management of the Nigerian Navy Hospital in Calabar without prior notification of the Cross/ Rivers government through the minister of health or through the commissioner for health or through the state epidemiologist is what we find a little worrisome.” he said.
“The commissioner further claimed that the letter stated that over 200 cartridges are going to be sent to the hospital by the NCDC for test running together with positive test samples and negative test samples.
He said, “Don’t forget that the letter states that over two hundred cartridges are going to be sent to the hospital by the NCDC for test running which means in the course of training the trainees they would have to see what positive test samples look like and negative test samples what they look like. The implication is that they would be importing some positive test samples alongside the negative samples.”
Okang added that the state government is also worried about “this purported plans to ensure that those positive test samples are sent to through the Nigerian Navy Hospital and not the University of Calabar.”
He said that the Nigerian Navy Hospital’s operation is a little private, adding that the choice of location fuelled their suspicion about the real intention of the federal government.
Speaking in a similar vein, Dr Beth Edu, the commissioner for health in the state, who also doubles as the Chairman Covid-19 Task-force in Cross Rivers said the state is not afraid of recording Covid-19, but the cases should not be manufactured.
She said: “We are not afraid of recording Covid-19 cases in Cross/Rivers state; we are prepared as a state. We have done our home work. I’m sure you all have seen the isolation centres fully equipped and the health workers. Over four hundred health workers have been fully trained to be able to respond to it. But we don’t want the numbers that are not real.”
It would be recalled that Cross Rivers state is the only state yet to record a Covid-19 case since the pandemic struck Nigeria on February 27.