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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has produced several thousand Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for students in public schools and government workers free of charge.

Prof Ayade disclosed this at the state-owned garment factory in Calabar, the Cross River State capital saying that the protective gears, which include face shields and PPE overalls, will be deployed to schools free of charge for the use of students as the state government commences trial resumption of public schools.

Ayade said medical personnel in the state will also be given PPEs for free noting that the governor used the occasion to appeal for the federal government patronage. The governor said that the production of the protective gear was part of his administration’s effort to fight the global pandemic, COVID-19.

“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?

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“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 of getting 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.”

Continuing, the governor said: “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 from nurses to radiographers must be equipped with PPE for them to work.

“Recently, doctors in Nigeria issued strike notice and their major reason was that their colleagues are dying in their numbers occasioned by the lack of PPE as they have direct contact with patients with confirmed cases. So, Cross River State had to invest seriously in the production of PPEs. And we have gone out of our way to get the best quality of materials and brought in people who specialize 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”, the governor said.

Meanwhile, the Cross River state Commissioner for Education, Godwin Amanke said a trial resumption of schools will commence on June 16, 2020. “Students will wear face masks and face shields to school. Once at the school gate the children will wash their hands and legs. Hand sanitizers will also be used. When the children enter the classroom, they will remove the face mask and use only the face shield to get enough ventilation.

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