The Edo State Government has opened a 158-bed holding facility at the main building of the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin City, to serve as a holding centre for suspected cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, said the facility 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).
He disclosed that the refurbishing and upgrading of the Stella Obasanjo Hospital into an ultra-modern infectious diseases centre, is part of the efforts of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to sustain the health and wellbeing of Edo people, as well as contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, “When patients are brought in, they would be held at the holding centre, while we send their samples for testing. If they are confirmed positive, they would be moved to the infectious disease unit for close monitoring and expert treatment.
“The new facility is part of ramped up strategies by the state government to curtail the spread of the virus, as suspected cases will be kept under the surveillance of medical professionals before their result is ready. We have experienced situations where suspected cases were allowed to go back home and associate with other members of the public and when they later test positive, they do not only endanger those who have had various levels of contact with them but also make the contact-tracing process difficult.”
Okundia continued, “As government intensifies efforts to contain the pandemic in Edo State, we urge all residents to make themselves available for the ongoing massive screening and testing exercise in various locations across the state.
“Comply with all government directives, aimed at keeping you safe from this common enemy. Stay at home and observe social distancing guidelines and other precautionary measures against the spread of the infectious disease, including regular hand washing with soap under running water and the use alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Cover your mouth and nose properly when sneezing and/or coughing. Also do well to report anyone with oversea travel history.”