By: Damaris Onyendi – Calabar

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has described Cross River State as deserving of its coronavirus free status.

NCDC stated this on Monday during a verification visit to the state.

The leader of the NCDC team, Dr Omobolanle Olowu, lauded the state governor, Sir Ben Ayade for his strong leadership in the battle against the pandemic, successfully keeping it away from the state.

“The Federal Government strongly Commends the Action Governor of Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade, and his energetic team who started response in January when others still lived in denial. They (Cross River) deserve to still be without a case of COVID-19.

“The governor was proactive in shutting down borders, screening visitors and suspected cases and initiating the no mask no movement campaign in Nigeria,” she said.

She also expressed delight at the level of compliance with the no mask no movement policy of the government.

Expressing disbelief, she said: “I cannot believe I did not see one person without a face mask from the airport to this office. I guess this explains the results in Cross River State. I commend the state for the great work done. We never knew all these in Abuja. We will tell Mr President all what we have seen.

“From all I have seen, this is a great response in Nigeria. Cross River has honestly done well. There is a lot to learn from Cross River as best practice for Nigeria. Nigeria should give Cross River State accolades for producing face masks, Face Shield, PPEs in its Garment Factory.”

She said the NCDC was also satisfied with the contact tracing, Surveillance and testing done so far by the state even as she encouraged the state to do more in that regard.

“We are happy that the state has a great working relationship with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. This is Commendable.

“Governor Ben Ayade woke up even before the rest of the country. He shut his borders and has been working from the front line. Your Governor is a man with foresight who believes in his people and wants to save his people.”

Highlight of the teams visit included the official opening of the 100-bed isolation center in Adiabo.

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