COVID-19: Cross River gives free food, orders compulsory use of mask

By Amara Christa

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has announced that the state government will give free foods to residents of the state. But he has warned that, with effect from midnight of April 2, 2020, anyone without face masks on the streets will be arrested.

He made the announcement early Thursday morning in Calabar, stressing that the state-owned garment factory is to operate on 24 hours basis to manufacture the face masks which should be distributed for free to all. As part of further reliefs as the state makes efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, Ayade said the state microfinance bank is to remain operational for 24 hours while government appointees from local government areas or towns in the boundaries are to retire home and enforce directives.

He added that: “Cross River private power company operating our 23 megawatt power plant must extend street lights from 6 to 6.

“It should be emphasized that by 12 midnight of the 2nd April, 2020 no mask, no movement!” The COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the world with cases moving close to the one million mark. In Nigeria, the number of cases is surging everyday but Cross River is yet to record any. As at Wednesday, Nigeria has 174 confirmed cases with two COVID-19 related death. Of the 174 cases, Lagos has 91 cases; FCT, 35; Osun, 14; Oyo, eight; Akwa Ibom, five; Ogun, four; Edo, four; Kaduna, four; Bauchi, three; Enugu and Ekiti, two each; Rivers and Benue, one each. Consequently, the Federal Government has ordered a lockdown in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States while most states of the federation have either declared a complete lockdown or restriction on gatherings.

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