By James Sowole
Ondo State early Monday recorded its first Covid-19 death.
Out of the over 250 persons that were tested, 16 persons were positive out of which six had been discharged after treatment at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Akure.
While briefing journalists on the Covid-19 situation in the state, Governor Oluwatotimi Akeredolu said the diseased was one of the three new cases recorded in the state.
According to Akeredolu, the man, who was already a patient with a renal condition, arrived Ipe Akoko in Akoko South East Local Government on April 27 in spite of the lockdown and closure of state boundaries.
Akeredolu said the man, who tested positive of Covid-19 and admitted at the IDH, was further diagnosed as a patient of renal condition.
He said the man’s renal condition made treatment and recovery more complicated.
While commiserating with the family of the deceased, Akeredolu commended health workers at the IDH, saying that they have shown invaluable sacrifice, diligence and exceptional sense of duty.
Akeredolu said: “To further encourage and support our medical workers at this time, I have directed the immediate payment of all outstanding emoluments of all our doctors at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital. This is in addition to the earlier packages approved during my address last week.”
Akeredolu, who categorised the Covid-19 cases in the state to two categories, said the state was dealing more with imported cases than community transmission.
He said: “Community transmission puts every one of us at risk. It guarantees a fast spread and the greatest crisis of containment.
“Tracing the map of the three new cases, we are confronted by the stark reality that the weaknesses in our borders and entry points are the biggest threat we face.
“In other words, if those manning our borders and residents along the borders had resisted the illegal entry of the individuals into the state, we probably would be having no new cases to report today.
“The case from Lagos, the woman from Abuja and the case from Ile Oluji would have been prevented if the individuals had obeyed the simple restriction order and if the borders were tight and impenetrable.”
“The state government is conscious of the need to deploy all its capacity and ability to contain this pandemic so that lost grounds could be gained and lives returned to normal. We will do everything possible to protect and promote our citizen all ways and always.
“This is the reason we are daily working on expanding the capability of our health facilities to respond to emergencies and unforeseen eventualities of Covid-19 in the state.
“To achieve this, we have expanded the capacity of our Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) to 210 beds, a tenfold increase in capacity. We have directly provided 80 standard beds, 10 ICU beds, 100 Infrared thermometers, three ventilators two of which are ICU ventilators.
“The 80 beds will be used to equip our newly renovated isolation centre in Ikare. We have also received 100 beds through the coalition against COVID (CACOVID) which will allow for the expansion of our centre in Akure and the equipping of the new centre in Ondo town.
“With direct government funding and donations in kind and cash by corporate organisations and public spirited individuals, more will be achieved in a matter of time,” the governor said.