By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
The Cross River State Ministry of Health has commenced the distribution of personal protective equipment, PPE, and other COVID-19 protective equipment to frontline health workers in the state, to prevent the health workers from being hit by the second wave of COVID-19 virus.
Speaking on the issue with our correspondent in Calabar yesterday, the state Chairman of COVID-19 Taskforce Response Team, who also doubles as the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, stressed that the initiative is to get the frontline health workers re-equipped and prevent them from possible attack of second wave of COVID-19 virus, which had killed many in the last two months.
She said, “As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to build up, there is an urgent need to protect health workers that have been presently over stretched.”
Averring that release of personal protective equipment, PPE, to front line health workers is a preventive measure, Dr Edu explained that was why the ministry considered that the frontline health workers be equipped with the items, since they are more exposed to the risk of being infected with the virus in the course of discharging their duties.
She said, “The second wave of COVID-19 has come, with the population having COVID-19 fatigue, people are finding it difficult to carry out COVID-19 protocol, leading to community spread for our frontline health workers, who are always on the forefront of this fight.”
Edu, who is also the state Chairman COVID-19 Tasksforce/Response Team, stressed that it was necessary for frontline workers to be safe, hence the need for the state Ministry of Health to take the responsibility of not only protecting the health workers, but giving them the necessary support in terms of safety.
She said it was the reason why the PPE were made available to the workers so as not to put their lives in jeopardy.
Edu enumerated COVID-19 preventive items given to the health workers to include; hand sanitizers, facemasks, latex hand gloves, isolation gowns, hamzel suits, face shield, googles, heavy duty boots, infrared thermometers, body bags among others.
Also speaking, the Director General, Cross River Primary Health Care Development Agency, who was on hand to receive the PPEs, with some Primary Health Care Directors from the local government areas, lauded the state COVID-19 Taskforce’s response team for proactive measure put in place to safeguard the lives of the frontline workers, so that they won’t be infected with the virus