Gyang Bere, Jos
A group of Plateau State residents represented by the Concerned Heipang Health Professionals, the Berom Youth Moulder-Association (BYM) and Development Associations in Heipang Community of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area have kicked against the conversion of Godiya Tourists Resort hotel into a quarantine centre for COVID-19 cases by the Plateau State Government.
In a communique read by David Bot at the end of a one-day workshop on Risk Communication and Community safety measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, said the centre is located within a residential area.
The workshop, which was organised by concerned health professionals in collaboration with Berom Youth Moulders-Association, the coalition insisted that the action is against WHO guidelines for the establishment of such a facility.
Bot said the community is concerned that, weeks ago, the Plateau State Government established a quarantine centre at Godiya Tourists Resort, which is located in a residential area, without the knowledge of leaders and members of the community.
According to him, WHO guidelines for establishing a quarantine centre clearly indicates, among other recommendations, that such facilities be sited at a location in the outskirts of town and must be far from residential homes and crowded places.
He added that the guidelines also stipulate that such a facility should be close to a tertiary health facility for easy commuting of quarantine clients who might develop symptoms within their of isolation period.
Bot said the community wondered why government disregarded these guidelines in view of the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and sited the centre within a residential area as the quarantine centre shares a fence with a residential home.
The community noted with concern that innocent and untrained workers in the hotel who live within the community still render services as against international best practices which states that stewards should be withdrawn once the hotel is leased out for this purpose and professionals are engaged.
Bot further disclosed that a visit to the facility by the community revealed that the centre lacks biomedical waste management infrastructure and its internal operations leave much to be desired with regards to public/community health.
Bot said the community was shocked to meet a lady of about 20 years carrying waste and disposable plates which quarantine subjects have used within the compound in a mesh basket as against leak-proof red, black or yellow containers as stipulated by WHO.