Ayade Releases N500m, Inaugurates Task Force

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Bassey Inyang in Calabar

The Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade, yesterday approved the release of N500 million to the state’s newly inaugurated COVID-19 Response Team as part of the proactive measures against the spread of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in the state

The team, which was inaugurated yesterday by Ayade at the open field of the Governor’s Office, Calabar, was given 20 vehicles to support its operations.

The mandate of the team, according to the governor, is to safeguard the state against the global scourge.

Ayade used the opportunity to appeal to the federal government to give special treatment to the state due to its strategic border location.

He said: “Cross River is an international border state, and with the incident in Cameroon, I call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Health to treat Cross River in a very peculiar way. We need the obvious and express attention of the federal government.”

The governor charged the team, which is headed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu, to work assiduously to ensure that all preventive measures against the spread were adhered to.

Ayade said: “You are all aware that there is no unanimity about the history of this global pandemic but Cross River, as a state governed by two Professors, must find ways and provide a leading direction at the sub-national level.

“It is therefore, our desire to ensure that Cross River will continue to maintain zero incidence as far as this pandemic is concerned.”

He specified that the taskforce’s core mandate was to guarantee the full implementation of the lockdown of our borders and ensure that medicines, food supplies and welfare packages are made available to our people.

“We are sensitive to the challenges of locking down a state where people have barely earned their last salary, therefore, the social sensitivity of our lockdown must reflect in the subsequent actions we take,” the governor said.

He also lamented the effect of partial lock down and assured the people of the palliative measures to cushion the effects.