Edo State Government is establishing over 54 screening centres, with three in each of the 18 local government areas (LGAs) as part of efforts to curtail spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Commissioner for Health, Patrick Okundia, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin, said health workers and other public health professionals have been trained to manage the centres, with the training cascading to different LGAs in the state.
Okundia said the centres, along with the four major testing facilities, including the Stella Obasanjo Hospital; Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), University of Benin Teaching Hospital and General Hospital, Auchi, would serve as examination points to determine whether residents would need to go for further tests for COVID-19.
The commissioner, however, urged residents not to panic, as the state government has taken serious steps to curtail the spread, and handle cases of coronavirus in the state.
“The Edo State government has been very scientific and professional in handling the disease and we are recording significant successes. We broke our approach into two, namely prevention and treatment. This with the knowledge that prevention is key to handling the infectious disease. We laid our emphasis on the need to prevent the spread through mass sensitisation and awareness creation.
“We also issued strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease, including social distancing. Where we are now is enforcement, and we have charged all security agencies to ensure enforcement. The state has four designated isolation centres, including the Stella Obasanjo Hospital; ISTH, University of Benin Teaching Hospital and General Hospital, Auchi, with all equipment needed for a functional and effective isolation centre and we are working assiduously to increase the numbers.
“We also have screening centres in each of these four facilities where patients can be examined and decisions made whether they will need to go for test or not. These centres are manned by experts. We have commenced the process of creating more screening centres with three in each council and trainings are currently ongoing in each LGA for the health professionals who will work in these centres.”
Meanwhile the government said the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, which has been repurposed as an infectious diseases centre in response to the coronavirus outbreak, would receive confirmed cases of the disease from Tuesday, April 7.
Okundia disclosed this while conducting journalists round the Infectious Disease Isolation Unit of the hospital in Benin.
He said the state has acquired 30 ventilators and built an ultra-modern infectious disease facility.