By George Odok
Calabar – Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River on Wednesday unveiled Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) produced at the state owned garment factory.
Ayade disclosed that the protective gears, which included face shields and overalls would be deployed to schools free for use by students as the state government planned trial resumption of public schools.
The governor said medical personnel in the state would also be given PPE for free.
He said that production of the protective gears was part of his administration’s effort to fight COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think that the Federal Government will be excited to encourage the resumption of schools because obviously coronavirus has come to stay with us.
“The reality is that countries that have attempted to resume schools have had to contend with the increased prevalence of the virus, but obviously how long can we wait as a country?
“So, perhaps we have to adopt a new lifestyle that will integrate coronavirus as part of our lifestyle.
“For Cross River, 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 the indiscipline and the more they become lazy of getting back to school.
“For every stage in life there is time where you have to be in class and once the children miss that delicate phase, it becomes very difficult,” he said.
The governor noted that it was wise for the kids to go back to school, adding that in China kids were back to schools with their nosemasks and shields.
Ayade said: “We have always led from the front and we think the mass production of PPE is an added advantage.
“All health practicioners from doctors to nurses to radiographers must be given PPE for them to work.
“Because we care, we want to support our public schools with free distribution of PPE. But our PPE for schools is limited only to nose masks and face shields.
He recalled that recently, doctors in Nigeria issued strike notice and their major reason was that their colleagues were dying in their numbers due to the lack of PPE.
According to him, the face shields will be the first and major shield production in Nigeria.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Education, Mr Godwin Amanke, said that a trial resumption of schools would begin on June 16.