The Cross River government has begun the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) which will be distributed to health facilities and schools in the state.
Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River, on Tuesday, unveiled the PPE made at the state-owned garment factory.
Ayade, who disclosed that the equipment included face masks, face shields and PPE overalls, said the medical items will be deployed to schools free of charge as the state government commences trial resumption of public schools.
He said medical personnel in the state will also be given PPEs for free, adding that the initiative is part of his administration’s effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
“I think that the federal government will be excited to encourage the resumption of schools because obviously the coronavirus has come to stay with us and the reality is that countries that have attempted to resume schools have had to contend with the increasing prevalence of the virus but obviously how long can we wait as a country?” he asked.
“So perhaps, we have to adopt a new lifestyle that will integrate coronavirus as part of our lifestyle.
“And so for Cross River state, we have a strong commitment that our children cannot continue to stay at home. The more they stay, the more the moral decadence, the more indiscipline, the more they become lazy to get back to school and getting started, because for every stage in life there is a time where you have to be in class and once the children miss that delicate phase, it becomes very difficult.
“I think it is wise for the kids to go back to school and I have seen this happen in China where kids are back to schools with their nose masks and shields. So you wear your nose mask and you wear your face shield. When you get to school, you drop the mask and wear only your shield to allow for more ventilation and more breathing.
“Because we care, we want to support our public schools with free distribution of PPE. But our PPE for schools is limited only to the nose masks and face shields. But for the health workers in Cross River state, they will be provided at no cost because the government has to bear the cost.”
The governor also asked the federal government to support the state by patronising them.
“We believe it is time for the federal government to also show love and support to Cross River State. We have always led from the front and we think the mass production of PPE is an added advantage for which all health practitioners must be equipped with PPE for them to work,” he said.
“And we have gone out of our way to get the best quality of materials and brought in people who specialise in mass production from India. They are here with us today and they are working very hard producing thousands of face shields. These face shields will be the first and major shield production here in Nigeria.”