…Dr Betta Edu sterling performance commended as she takes center stage at Presidential Taskforce National Briefing
The Presidency again opened the year with its first Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 National Briefing on Tuesday 5th January 2021. At the briefing, the Secretary to the Government of The Federation and Chairman of the PTF-COVID-19, Boss Mustapha on behalf of the PTF, welcomed all Nigerians to the year 2021, wishing everyone a happy, prosperous and healthy New Year.
He appealed to all Nigerians to stay safe and act in most defensive and protective ways by complying with the guidelines already prescribed. Calling on Nigerians to take responsibility at individual levels.
“Closely associated with that is the increasing daily numbers that we are recording. Yesterday 4th January, 2021, we recorded 1,204 infections. This was the highest daily number ever recorded since we commenced the national response. From our analysis, we are beginning to see the effect of activities carried out during the Christmas festivities. We can only hope that numbers will not escalate beyond control. We however, still appeal to all citizens to take full responsibility through compliance and vigilance.”, he said.
The SGF commended Gov Ben Ayade and his Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu for the great work and innovation done to sustain the COVID-19 response in Cross River State. He commended her Leadership of the Nigerian Health Commissioners Forum as the National Chairman, calling on her to encourage all commissioners to improve on risk communication and sensitization of communities as well as key stakeholders on the second wave of the COVId-19 pandemic, while stepping up testing and reopening their isolation centers to isolate new cases. He assured Cross River State that the PTF will immediately intervene to restart the laboratory following the EndSARS protest that led to the vandalization and looting of the reference laboratory in Cross River State.
“We commend the great work you have done in Cross River State, We shall work together with your State to get things rolling well again.”, he said.
The NCDC DG, Dr Chikwe noted that 85% of equipment required to rebuild and equip the Cross River Reference Laboratory has been purchased and would be deployed to Cross River state immediately.
“We are almost there and Cross River will be back to full steam soon. I assure the state.”
The Honourable Commissioner for Health Cross River State and Chairman of the Nigerian Health Commissioners Forum, Dr Betta Edu who spoke for the first time at the National Briefing of PTF on COVID-19, carefully enumerated the progress made in the Cross River State response which brought innovation to the national response.
She, however, noted that there have been setbacks by the EndSARS protest which affected the reference lab and 100 bed isolation center, leaving the state with only 14 bed space left in the state (4 in UCTH and 10 at GH Ogoja). She said in the face of the second wave of COVID-19, the support required by Cross River State is an emergency, while counting on the leadership of PTF and NCDC to intervene immediately.
She thanked the PTF for its support to all states last year, noting that lots more still needs to be done to strengthen the response in all the states, especially the cold chain equipment as “we expect the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines this January.”
Dr Betta Edu later held meeting with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha in his office chatting a positive course for Cross River State and other states in the Federation experiencing some challenges in the national COVID-19 response.