Cross River Govt. Explains Why 35 Americans Were Denied Entry

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Cross River State Governor, Benedict Ayade

The Cross River State government has explained the rationale behind its denial of entry to 35 American oil workers into the state on Monday, March 31, 2020. The Americans, who were on board an Air Peace flight, were said to be working for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Christian Ita, explained that the workers were asked to be properly tested and make sure to be freed of COVID- 19 before they are allowed entry.

In an interview with our correspondent on Tuesday, the governor’s aide said, “We insisted that they should go back and be properly tested before they could come in. We have blocked our boundaries; so, if they must come in because the Federal Government wants them to come in and do one or two things, they have to be sure that they are free of infections, because prevention, they say, is better than cure.

“They didn’t get to Cross River. They were en route to Cross River but they were not allowed to land. They went back to Abuja. They were never in Cross River.”

Meanwhile, the management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital refuted reports that a COVID-19 patient was admitted in the hospital.

The Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital, Prof. Ogbu Ngim, who spoke on behalf of the UCTH management, said, “This morning we were made to understand that a patient was brought into our casualty department who had some upper respiratory tract infections and was coughing. The patient was not sneezing.  She didn’t have a fever. She didn’t have any of the symptoms that will say this is COVID-19, but as you know, everybody at this period, even if you have malaria, will think it is COVID-19, which is not correct.

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“However, we observed what we call universal precaution and she was taken to the isolation centre. We have followed the universal precaution and it is important to note that before you label a case as being COVID-19, there are protocols to follow. Those protocols are yet to be exhausted; we do not have a positive confirmatory test. As we speak, samples have been taken; we only observed what we call universal precaution in any case.”

Prof. Ngim, who said the particular case was unlikely to be COVID-19, maintained that the viral disease had not gained entry into Cross River State.

He said, “There is no such thing as COVID-19 in Cross River State as of today; that case is not COVID-19. Appropriate steps have been taken. We will await the result of the investigation or the test.”

He disclosed that a sick white tourist brought to the hospital recently died.

He said, “We lost him, and that was some weeks back, people immediately speculated and thought that it was COVID-19. We took his sample and sent it out for a test. The result came out negative. Before then, some people already had spread so much falsehood in the social media.”

Yetunde Adegoke

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