By G9ija

Cross River State Government has issued a public health warning of an imminent public health disaster in Calabar, the state capital, and its environs.

The warning is coming in the aftermath of the indiscriminate break-in by vandals masquerading as #ENDSARS protesters and invaded public and private properties in Calabar between Friday 23rd and Monday 26th Oct 2020.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu who issued the public notification said, that the public health implication of attack is understandably huge.

She disclosed that “during the attacks, the Dr. Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital (former IDH) in Calabar South, the CRS Essential Drug Program (EDP) premises on Barracks road, and the CRS COVID 19 treatment center in Tinapa (Adiabo) where among properties invaded and destroyed by the looters. Equipment and furniture, some containing patents’ samples for Tuberculosis (TB), HIV, and COVID 19, were either carted away or spilled in the rubble that they left behind.”

Adding that after due assessment of the affected sites, the following has become urgent: “There is increased risk of disease outbreak in those who took part in the looting activities especially in the listed sites, their neighbours or anybody who may be within close range at the contaminated sites.”

“The ministry has ordered immediate decontamination of the affected sites and the close environments.”

“Members of the public are advised to follow all the earlier established protocol for COVID 19 and respiratory route infections such as hand hygiene, use of face mask, and restriction from crowded areas.”

“An arrangement has been made for free testing for the listed disease (TB, COVID 19, and HIV). Exposed individuals and others who desire to know their status should proceed for free testing and treatment at the General Hospital, Calabar located along Mary Slessor road.”

“Kindly report any unusual cough, fever or any abnormal presentations to the nearest public health facility (hospital) for proper medical care.”

The Health Commissioner further disclosed that the Government was working round the clock to restore public healthcare services in the affected places.