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COVID-19: Edo boosts response capacity with new holding centre in Benin

Agency Reporter

The Edo State Government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state has recorded a milestone with the completion of an additional holding centre at the Ogbe Nursing Home, located within the Government Reserved Area (GRA) of Benin City.

With the new facility, Edo now has over 500-bed capacity holding and isolation centres spread across different health facilities in the state, with the Stella Obasanjo Hospital contributing over 42-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 156-bed holding facility; University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) with 48-bed ICU-equipped isolation centre, and others at the ISTH and Auchi General Hospital.

In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the renovation and upgrade of the facility into a standard holding centre is part of ramped up measures by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Osagie noted that the Ogbe Nursing Home will serve as a holding centre where suspected persons will be kept while their COVID-19 status is being verified through tests in the two testing centres in Benin or at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH).

According to him, “Since the outbreak of coronavirus in the state, Governor Godwin Obaseki has initiated nuanced measures to tackle the pandemic, basing his decisions on the need to protect the people not only from the virus but from the economic headwinds resulting from efforts at curtailing the spread of the virus

“The state government has trained over 4200 health workers who are in the front lines of the campaign against the pandemic. These health workers are provided with life insurance and hazard allowances ranging from N90,000 to N300,000 to cater for as low as support staff up to the consultants working on the front lines. So far, Edo has acquired 5 PCR machines; over 5000 Viral Transport Medium (TVM); 28 ventilators, mobile x-ray machines, oxygen concentrators, among others.

He added, “As we work aggressively to screen over 500, 000 residents and test about 5,000 Edo people within the next few days, the government has set up over 18 screening centres across the state, with five additional ones at borders with Delta, Ondo and Kogi States and another 8 mobile screening centres moving around wards in local governments to screen and collect samples that fit the case definition for testing.

“As the government intensifies efforts to contain the pandemic in Edo State, we urge all residents to comply with government directives against the spread of the deadly virus. Stay at home; observe social distancing and other precautionary measures to contain the infectious disease.”

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