The National Youth Service Corps in Cross River says no corps member has tested positive to COVID-19 in the state.
Enuma Peter, NYSC’s Assistant Director, Press and Public Relations unit, stated this in his reaction to alleged reports that 13 corps members currently in the orientation camp in Calabar, tested positive.
In a statement, Peter said the trending story on social media was allegedly attributed to the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, saying the incident in the NYSC camp had led to the increase of the spread COVID-19 cases in the state.
“Management wishes to assert that at present, no registered 2020 Batch B Stream II corps 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 National Centre for Disease Control, which is a condition for admission into any of the 37 camps in the country.
“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,” the statement said.
According to the statement, any information received outside the joint release from NYSC and NCDC from the ongoing orientation course may not have given the true picture of the state of affairs.
“At no time did any registered corps member tested positive as everyone was tested before admittance into the camp.
“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 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 while the entire camp community ensures strict compliance to 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 to the activities of NYSC, considering that there is free movement of Nigerians across state’s boundaries which has nothing to do with the orientation course.
“Therefore, reporting that 13 corps members undergoing orientation course in Cross River tested positive for COVID-19 is misleading, baseless and unfounded, as there is no COVID-19 positive corp member in Cross River orientation camp,” it said.