Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Yenagoa Isolation Centre are reported to have not been fed, fuelling fears that it might set back their early recovery.
According to investigations, the arrangement was that the hospital management working in conjunction with the Bayelsa State COVID-19 Task Force would feed the patients to aid their quick recovery.
However due to some unresolved issues with the kitchen unit of FMC, the patients have not been fed since they were admitted at the medical centre.
Family members of the victims say they have been responsible for the feeding of their relatives at the isolation centre, complaining that the attitude of the kitchen staff of FMC is shocking.
A source close to the state task force on COVID-19 said the leadership have waded into the matter so that an amicable solution to ensure the patients are fed is worked out.
Meanwhile the Bayelsa State Civil Society COVID-19 Situation Room (CISCOV-19) has described as alarming the sudden increase in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths recorded in the state over the past weeks.
The CISCOV-19, in a statement at the weekend by Robinson Kuroghobogha and Dise Ogbise, convener and co-convener, respectively, said it was even more disturbing that the state government had not given an official explanation for the sharp rise in the number of confirmed patients and fatalities.
The group noted that there was ‘an obvious deficit of information’ provided to citizens as the number of confirmed infections and death toll had multiplied very much over the last month.
It said the information gap also fuelled speculation over ‘an unprecedented and inexplicable rise in cases of malaria and typhoid fever in the state over the last few weeks, despite the concerns expressed by citizens and the fact that it was taking place during an extant public health emergency.’
It emphasised the need for the state government to recognise the significance of proper information management in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, adding that the enforcement of guidelines on the ongoing partial lockdown remained inefficient.
The statement read in part:
‘The Bayelsa State Civil Society COVID-19 Situation Room is gravely concerned about the marked increase in the number of positive coronavirus cases in the state and the general state of response to the incidence of the pandemic, especially over the last month.
‘This is a period which has witnessed an increase of COVID-19 cases in Bayelsa State from 12 positive cases on 31 May 2020 to the current count of over 180 cases, with 12 fatalities. This represents a fatality rate of 6.5 per cent, which is above both national fatality rate of just 2.5 per cent and the global average of 5 per cent.’
The group, however, commended the government for the recent closing down of some pubs and issuing further guidelines to religious worship centres.