Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city
The Edo State Government has provided life insurance and other special allowances for healthcare workers handling the COVID-19 response in the state as motivation to work on the frontlines against the pandemic.
The state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who disclosed this in a broadcast, said the state was making steady progress in containing the infectious disease, noting that the state has started treating patients in three of the four isolation centres in the three senatorial districts of the state, which have a total capacity of 300 beds and 30 ventilators.
According to him, the state government has acquired additional three PCR machines and trained over 4,200 healthcare workers who are now manning the state screening, testing and treatment facilities.
Obaseki said: “Our health workers are crucial if we are to win the fight against COVID-19, therefore, we have emphasised on training, equipping and motivating of frontline health workers. To date, we have trained over 4,200 healthcare workers who are now manning our screening, testing and treatment facilities. Apart from providing the safety and protection required, we have offered them life insurance and special allowances to continue to motivate them.
“I am glad to inform you that the testing centre at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) is now ready. We have also begun trial tests under the guidance of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). We expect that it will commence full operations this week. We have also taken delivery of another PCR testing machine currently being installed at the Edo Specialist Hospital which we hope will also be ready within the next two weeks. This will give us the capacity to perform up to 1,000 tests daily in Edo State.”
The governor, who noted that the state government has continued distribution of relief materials to vulnerable persons in the state to cushion the economic effect of the stay-at-home order, said: “We are quite aware that many families and individuals are suffering as a result of the partial lockdown. That is why we have started distributing food items to vulnerable families, and will give medical support to even more. We are also fumigating and providing water in markets, parks and public spaces and have reduced taxes on small businesses.”