By Bassey Inyang
The Cross River Government has announced that it would distribute food items to about 44,000 homes across the state to cushion the economic difficulties that the people were faced with due to the total lockdown of the territory to possibly prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Making the announcement in Calabar yesterday, state chairman of the Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Betta Edu, said the 44,000 households that would be supplied with food items were the most vulnerable in the state.
The state Chairman of COVID-19 Taskforce, Dr. Betta Edu, said this at an interactive session with newsmen in Calabar.
Edu said already, food items among them rice, garri, plantain, yams and others had been procured for distribution as directed by the state Governor, Professor Ben Ayade.
“In line with Governor Ben Ayade’s directives, we have procured food ready for distribution to vulnerable people in the society consisting of 44,000 households.
“The state government has the interest of the people at heart. The gesture is to ameliorate the vulnerable in the critical stay-at-home period.
“As a state government, we have also produced 5,000 sanitisers ready for distribution. We are expecting another 5,000, although we have the challenge of bottles,” Edu said.
Edu who is the State Commissioner for Health, stated that the list of those to benefit from the food items were members of vulnerable households as contained in the register obtained from the state World Bank Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) programme.
Edu disclosed that the state government had procured 5,000 bottles of sanitisers that would also be distributed for use by the people across the state.
Concerning the status of the state with regards to the number of infected persons, she stated that the state was currently infection-free.
“As we speak, Cross River has been declared COVID-19 free. We want to state that our borders and all entry routes into the state will remain shut until the pandemic is contained in the country,” Edu said.
She also said that the facemasks produced by the garment factory in Calabar will be distributed free to residents of the state, and that it is mandatory for everyone to use the mask while in public, and private places at all times.