Coronavirus: Edo sets for massive testing exercise

Edo Dep. Gov. Philip Shaibu

By Jethro lbileke

No fewer than 4, 218 medical personnel drawn from private, state and federal government medical centres, have been recruited for training as part of efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus in Edo state.

The state deputy governor and chairman, Edo State Response Committee on COVID-19, Comrade Philip Shaibu, disclosed this on Monday in Benin, while giving an update of the committee.

He added that the state government has embarked on stocking up on medical supplies.

According to him, “The Edo state government has embarked on training of a total of 4,218 medical personnel drawn from the 18 local government areas of the state in the first instance.

“These persons already have basic training for handling crisis, but their skill-level needs to be updated to contain the emerging trends. They would be undergoing Train-the-Trainers sessions, after which they will go back to their respective facilities to train their colleagues.

“The health workers are drawn from private, state and federal government medical centres.”

Shaibu noted that the state was ramping up medical supplies to tackle the pandemic, especially the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which would ensure that any health worker who would be on the frontline during the outbreak would be equipped with complete kits to protect themselves.

“We are also working to increase the number of ventilators and other equipment necessary for isolation of cases, while we work towards containing the outbreak.

“At the moment, the state has 25 ventilators at the ready, but we have made orders for more ventilators and expect their delivery very soon.

“The Edo state government will commence massive screening and testing for coronavirus in order to get a statistical sense of how widespread the virus is in the state to ensure effective planning and containment efforts.

“The enlarged Edo State Response Committee on COVID-19 will continue to meet virtually every day to monitor and manage the state’s response to the pandemic,” he said.

The Coordinator of World Health Organisation (WHO), in the State, Mrs. Faith Ireye, disclosed that 71 contacts are listed for the two confirmed cases in the state, adding that the government looks inward to keep over list rather under list.

She said 13 persons have been identified with their samples taken to Irrua Specialist Hospital for testing.

According to her, “For those who returned from abroad, over 36 persons were on self-isolation and completed their 14 days and now we are following up with 46 others. Social distancing is important, we should work together to keep the state safe for us all.”