By Adibe Emenyonu
In order to curtail the spread of Coronavirus in Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki has announced that the Stella Obasanjo Hospital as a test centre and ordered the evacuation of patients to the new Edo Specialist Hospital, Benin City.
Obaseki also announced its intention to give economic stimulus package to cushion the economic effect of COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu, made the disclosure on behalf of Governor Obaseki who is still in self isolation following his contact with Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Muhammed; and Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari.
He said the idea of evacuation of patients from Stella Obasanjo was to use the facilities there strictly as a testing and isolation centre for the COVID-19 cases.
In view of this, Shaibu said the Edo State COVID-19 Committee had visited the isolation centre at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital to ascertain the level of preparedness, adding that the centre was ready to attend to any case of infection in the state even as government is expanding capacity.
However, the Edo State deputy governor frowned at the level of compliance by residents of the state on the safe distance order by government, noting that many people still found it difficult to observe especially transporters in the state.
According to him, “The social distance rules are some of the measures to keep people alive. Some of the markets visited, the committee observed that the safe distance rule was not properly observed. Similarly, a lot of transporters still flout the social distance policy of government.
“For emphasis, the policy is that for cars, they are to carry one passenger in front and two at the back; for buses, it remains one passenger in front and two on each of the back rows.
“Against this backdrop, security agencies are enjoined to work towards achieving full compliance.”
Also speaking, Akinbiyi Olugbenga, a field epidemiologist, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in Edo, said their mission was to support the state response on COVID-19 prevention.
He added that the restriction order was not a dead sentence on residence but measures put in place to save the lives of everybody and curtail further spread.
Similarly, Dr. Wale Famiyesin, Coordinator World Health Organisation (WHO) in the state, noted coronavirus does not move if people does not move from place to place to contact it adding that there are three stages of facilities in the state namely, to hold contact cases, isolation cases and to manage severe cases.