COVID-19: NYSC contradicts health commissioner, says no corps member tested positive in Cross River - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

COVID-19: NYSC contradicts health commissioner, says no corps member tested positive in Cross River

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By Our Correspondent

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Cross River says no corps member tested positive for COVID-19 in the state’s orientation camp.

According to NAN, Enuma Peter, the NYSC’s assistant press director in the state, was reacting to reports that about 13 corps members currently in its Calabar camp had tested positive for the virus.

The claim, which was attributed to Betta Edu, the state commissioner for health, on Monday, held that the positive cases in the camp led to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Cross River.

In a statement on Tuesday, Peter said no registered 2020 Batch B Stream II member in Cross River is COVID-19 positive.

“It is worthy to note that all prospective corps members for the ongoing programme underwent COVID-19 test conducted by the NCDC, which is a condition for admission into any of the 37 camps in the country,” he said.

“Prospective corps members who test positive are duly referred to NCDC for treatment and management. This has been the practice and NYSC in Cross River has adhered strictly to this standard.

“It is also pertinent to state here that the Cross River Commissioner for Health has not requested or received any brief from the NYSC on the ongoing test of corps members at the orientation camp in Obubra Local Government.

“At no time did any registered corps member test positive as everyone was tested before admittance into the camp.”

According to Peter, any information received outside the joint release from the NYSC and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on the orientation course may not have given the true picture of the state of affairs.

“As such, the Commissioner may not be aware that only prospective corps members that test negative to COVID-19 are allowed into the camp and qualified to be registered as corps members,” the press director added.

“The management of NYSC in Cross River would like to use this opportunity to add that all orientation camp officials and visitors to the camp are also continuously tested by officials of NCDC.

“The entire camp community ensures strict compliance with all COVID-19 protocols.

“In the light of the above, NYSC in Cross River urges parents, collaborating agencies of the scheme and partners, the press, and the general public to disregard the misleading news story.

“It is also misleading to blame the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Cross River on NYSC, considering that there is free movement of Nigerians across state’s boundaries which has nothing to do with the orientation course.”

The federal government had earlier warned that it will shut down any NYSC orientation camp that violates the COVID-19 protocol.