COVID-19: Cross River garment factory workers begin mass production of face masks

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Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade has recalled workers of the state-owned Garment Factory back to work, for the mass production of face and nose masks.

They resumed work on March 31, 2020, after the factory had been disinfected.

The workers were initially sent home in line with the partial lockdown declared by the governor last week as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ayade told newsmen on Monday at the industrial park, Calabar, that it has become imperative for the Garment Factory workers to return to work in view of the urgency of the need to tackle the deadly virus headlong.

“The Garment Factory workers are being recalled for mass production of nose/mouth masks in order to stem this pandemic. As the workers return to start mass production of the masks, we will ensure that they keep a reasonable distance from one another in keeping with the industrial distancing protocol.”

He disclosed that proper fumigation of the factory has been carried out preparatory to the resumption of the workers.

According to governor Ayade, the returning Garment factory workers will be properly kitted to ensure that they are fit for the purpose in addition to being paid special allowances.

“Working at this time when there is a general shut down requires special compensation. Of, course I am known for that generosity of heart. The Garment factory workers will be fairly compensated”, he said.

The governor disclosed that precautionary measures will also entail that the number of workers being recalled are manageable.

“We are going to reduce the number of workers per shift and they will keep a distance of not less than five metres. We are producing the masks for distribution to our most vulnerable people.

“We also are providing medical services to most vulnerable Cross Riverians.I’m equally activating the Cross River state food bank to ensure that we deliver food to most vulnerable in view of the lockdown.”