The Edo State government yesterday claimed it had screened over 40,000 persons in the state for coronavirus, allegedly leveraging a strategic partnership with private hospitals, clinics and pharmacies, which complemented the screening exercise ongoing across designated government hospitals.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of the state disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, saying the government had adopted a robust and scientific approach to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic since its outbreak.
He claimed embarking on massive screening and testing of residents was a strategy to get a clearer picture of the spread of the pandemic in the state.
According to him, the screenings are conducted in designated Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the state’s 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs); mobile post screening centres that move across the 192 wards, as well as private medical facilities.
“We have made tremendous progress, especially in the areas of screening, testing and improved awareness of our citizens. Working closely with private hospitals, clinics and pharmacies, we have been able to screen over 40,000 and tested over 350 persons.
“Our improved efforts at screening and testing are the reason the number of cases is rising. As we aggressively push to screen our minimum target of 500,000 people and test 15,000 individuals in the next few weeks, we may record an astronomic rise in the number of cases.”
“We advise everyone to get screened at the numerous screening centres across the state. Our screening centres also offer free medical check-up, free multivitamins and facemasks. I am confident that we can beat this virus in Edo State if we take the necessary precautionary measures.”
He said evidence from its epidemiologists suggested that Covid-19 cases would continue to rise until it peaks late in June this year.
“We can reduce the spread of the virus by enforcing existing social distancing rules, maintaining good hand washing hygiene and wearing masks in public places. This evidence has undoubtedly informed the decision by the federal government to impose a nationwide curfew.”
Meanwhile, Obaseki has taken inventory of facilities, drugs and medical equipment at the Central Medical Store, Benin City, as the state ramps up efforts to check the spread of coronavirus.
The governor, who led other government functionaries on the inspection tour, said the Central Medical Store was strategic as the state received donations in the wake of the pandemic.
“I want to have a firsthand experience on what we do when we receive these donations; how we keep them, how the records are kept and how drugs are utilised.”
He noted that as part of the state’s response to Covid-19, the government was assessing how drugs and medical equipment were received, stored and dispensed