Covid-19 is now in Cross River State and has completely encircled Nigeria for the first time since the virus made a landfall in February 2020.
NCDC confirmed that five persons from Cross River State are among 575 new Covid-19 infections reported nationwide yesterday, 6 July.
The Cross River State Government has hitherto insisted that the State is free of the virus.
Governor Ayade has been particularly vocal in criticizing federal protocols and treatment regimes for managing Covid-19 virus.
Although cases from the state were not showing up in NCDC tabulations, agency officials said before now that “no state in the country” is completely free of the virus.
To break the deadlock, NCDC eventually declared the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) an Independent Test Centre.
It activated the Hospital’s Molecular Laboratory and accredited a private hospital for testing as well.
Politics of Covid-19 in CRS
NCDC and local medical doctors in Calabar have hitherto questioned the State Government’s approach to Covid-19 testing and contact tracing.
On their own, the doctors acting under their umbrella Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), expressed dismay with the Cross River testing process.
They frowned at the method of generating code numbers for positive test and sending to the independent UCTH lab before NCDC could publish the results.
This process, NMA said, account for why five cases of Covid-19 confirmed at a federal teaching hospital lab in Ebonyi State have yet to be announced.
The doctors threatened to turn their backs on patients if the State Government is not restrained from “putting lives at risk.”
Yesterday, the Cross River branch of NMA passed a no-confidence vote on Health Commissioner, Betta Edu. It also recommended that she be punished for unethical way she handled the Covid-19 issue.
“The Association passed a vote of no confidence on the Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, and further referred her to the NMA National Disciplinary Committee and Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) for the unethical handling of COVID-19 testing in the state, thus putting lives at risk and bringing the association to disrepute.”
Nigeria inches closer to 30,000 cases
The 575 new cases of Covid-19 reported last night pushed up total infections in Nigeria to 29,286 cases.
The South East region accounts for 1,700 of total cases, representing 5.8 percent of the national tally.
A total of 15 new cases were announced last night for the region and they came from two states, Enugu (9) and Abia (6), according to the NCDC.
One death was reported in Enugu State.
Nationwide, Lagos and the FCT have continued to lead in the number of new infections.
Covid-19 lands in Cross River to encircle Nigeria for the first time since the virus made a landfall