The Cross River State Commissioner for Health and chairman of COVID-19 response team, Dr Betta Edu, has alleged that the federal government is glorifying COVID-19 through media hype in such a way that every day, people are only told the number of new cases of infection.
Dr Edu, who addressed journalists in Calabar, urged the federal government to reduce the media hype on the pandemic.
According to her, the attention being given to COVID-19 is at the expense of the high number of deaths from other health challenges like malaria, high blood pressure, and diabetes among others.
“We have so magnified this issue such that even health workers are abandoning patients with other health challenges to die.
People are afraid to even go to hospitals to avoid being tagged COVID-19 positive, everyone is scared.
“How many people would we allow to die before Nigeria stops magnifying COVID-19? Maternal mortality claims at least 3000 lives daily, malaria kills at least 1000 daily. High blood pressure, diabetes and other health issues are killing Nigerians, yet we call press conferences on coronavirus as if COVID-19 is a death sentence.
“As a state, Cross River has done its best to prevent COVID-19, and all what we get is pressure and knocks. Maybe, we should withdraw our team from our borders, maybe we should step back and begin to reel out figures in thousands to please some people and be politically correct.
“Let me use this opportunity to appeal to the federal government, the NCDC, the PTF to support prevention. Prevention should be your pride and not your shame. We hereby leave our fate in your hands,” she said.
Edu said the state had not recorded cases of COVID-19, but had sensitized early and put structures in place before the first recorded case of the disease in the country.
She expressed sadness that the federal government was refusing to support a state which is doing everything to prevent COVID-19, and instead insinuating that it was covering things up.