BY SUNNY A. DAVID
Anambra State government has said that it could not provide facemasks for the entire people of the State as part of the preventive kits against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu stated this in a chat with newsmen, saying the costs of the masks were too high for the government.
The State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, had during his recent broadcast, insisted that every resident of the State must always put on facemasks to ensure they were not infected by the virus.
But he said the government could only provide the masks for those at the front line of duty, including doctors, nurses and other health personnel.
Prof. Chukwulobelu said the government could only extend the provision of the masks to others if there were excesses through donations from individuals and organisations.
The SSG said, “I don’t think the State government can afford the facemasks for everyone. When resources are scarce, you have to prioritize.
“Government can only produce some face masks, first to the front line officers, doctors, nurses, health workers who are having to deal with the problem.
“If there are any that are left, it’s possible they could go to some other places. But the important thing is that you are using your handkerchief to protect yourself. People can improvise. 
“The central message is that face mask is important. Should the government give to everyone, I’m saying to you, It’s just too expensive. I’m sure you know that if you’re going to buy one, you’ll be spending about N200 and in some cases, N300. It’s extremely expensive. 
“The government has the duty of care of providing for those at the frontline of duty. If we receive donations from people and they are in excess for the frontline staff, then it can be extended to communities. 
“At the moment we’re doing the best we can to ensure that those that are fighting this pandemic are properly protected. It’s all part of the Personal Protection Equipment.”
CAPTION: Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, the Secretary to the State Government.

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