Why C/River frowns at GeneXpert SARS-CoV-2 hands-on training in Calabar

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19 June 2020 

The Cross River State Government (CRSG) has expressed its worry over the GeneXpert SARS-CoV-2 hands-on Training billed to hold at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital on Saturday 20th June 2020 by 9AM NEGROIDHAVEN has garnered. 
The State Government on Thursday argued that her worry hinges on the failure of the organisers to formally notify the state that they were bringing positive samples of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) into the state; secondly, the State Government expressed concern about her being able to monitor those samples ensuring that they are properly managed to forestall possible infection in the state.
This disposition was disclosed yesterday in Calabar the state capital during a Special Press Briefing on Covid-19 and Emerging Issues which held at the Ministry of Information and Orientation Headquarters by the Commissioners for Information and Health. 
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, who disclosed that 'we are not afraid of recording Covid-19 cases in Cross River state' and emphatically noted that the State was prepared for any eventuality added that 'what we don't want are numbers that are not real… And so we need to be able to protect our citizens at all cost'. 
On his part, the Commissioner for Information, Comr. Asu Okang queried why the now controversial training exercise is not holding at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital but the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital was selected seeing that, according to Okang, the former is a federal medical institution unlike the former which is by reason of its operation a little private. 
The Tuberculosis Foundation in Nigeria in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is organising the GeneXpert SARS-CoV-2 hands-on Training where the NCDC will provide both positive and negative test samples of Covid-19 for the training exercise. 

According to the website of Worldometers, the Coronavirus pandemic has infected 8,594,854; killed 456,649 and has had 4,546,496 recoveries. In Nigeria, there has been 475 cases of death; 6,307 discharged cases; 11,698 active cases; 18,480 confirmed cases and 106,006 samples have been tested. Of the 36 sub-national entities in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Cross River is the only Covid-19 free state nationwide. 

This feat is attributable to the proactive measures embarked upon by the Cross River State Government long before the African continent recorded any incident of the pandemic, the fact that the State is not an economic hub recording high incidences of airflight through the Margaret Ekpo International Airport and and the fact that the said that is at the fringe of the country —itself not a route to any other state except neighbouring Cameroon Republic. 

However, Nigerians especially those resident in and indigenous to Cross River are critical of the state government. They are of the opinion that there is Covid-19 in the state but the state government is concealing it. This has been roundly refuted by the state government.