The Enugu State Executive Council has approved the sum of N320million to prevent as well as tackle the scourge of COVID-19 in the state in case of any outbreak.
Briefing journalists after a meeting with the state executive council to update it on the level of preparedness in case of any emergency that may arise from the virus outbreak, the state medical team led by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Ifeanyi Agujiobi, stated that the council approved the immediate upgrade and relocation of the state isolation centre to ESUT Teaching Hospital at Parklane, Enugu.
Agujiobi disclosed that the council’s decision was based on the medical team’s recommendation and in line with the advice from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that isolation centres are best located within the specialist hospitals of the states for prompt and effective emergency response.
He explained that the relocation “will be more convenient, easier for patients who may have the virus or suspected to have it to be attended to by medical specialists promptly and timely,” adding that the patient will have access to “the X-Ray machines, the dialysis machine and other high tech machines domiciled in the Teaching Hospital.”
The team leader, who appreciated the state Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for his efforts and effective leadership role in driving “not just the health sector but the entire sectors in the state,” disclosed that the council considered and approved the procurement of more personal protective equipment, sanitizers, masks, respirators and all that are needed to aid the physicians manage their patients.
Agujiobi pointed out that the team requested for the procurement of full-fitted ambulances and incident vehicles to help respond to emergencies as they may arise as well as the release of funds for mass advocacy and enlightenment in every nook and cranny of the state, including churches, markets and schools.
“In a couple of hours, all the radio stations in Enugu State will be agog with jingles and all that we need to know regarding the COVID-19,” he said.
Agujiobi also added that the council equally approved that funds be made available so that the health workers would have the requisite training and pursue contact tracing of those who may be suspected or may turn out to be positive “so that we don’t need to lack anything.”
He further explained that the sum of N150 million was approved by the council to tackle the issue of coronavirus and to ensure that the state is fully prepared, while the sum of N80 million was also approved for the procurement of essential drugs that may be needed to treat and manage the virus, Lassa fever and other communicable diseases.
The senior ministry official stated that the toll free line is 117 and 112 while the dedicated line for emergency response is 08182555550.