Following efforts by Edo State Government to boost the state’s capacity to test for coronavirus (COVID-19) and achieve its target of testing 1,000 residents daily, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has validated a new Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing centre at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).
Commissioner for Health, Dr Patrick Okundia, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, noted that sample testing for COVID-19 has commenced at UBTH, while validation and inspection of the third PCR testing centre in Edo State is on-going.
Okundia noted that the state has revved up its testing and screening capacity, urging residents to use the opportunity provided by the state government to ascertain their COVID-19 status.
He said the screening and testing exercise would identify the trend of the spread of the virus across the state and help the government ramp up effort and strategies to contain the pandemic.
According to him, “The Edo State Government is committed to wiping out this deadly virus from all communities in Edo, as we have stepped up measures to screen over 500, 000 residents and test about 5,000 people within the next few days.
“As part of these measures, the state’s laboratory capacity is being strengthened and training of laboratory personnel is ongoing by NCDC, World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partners. While sample testing at Irrua specialist Hospital (ISTH) is still on-going, UBTH PCR has been validated and sample testing for COVID-19 has commenced. The validation and inspection of the other new PCR in Edo State is on-going. We are also upgrading our laboratory facilities to cater for differential laboratory testing at Stella Obasanjo Hospital Isolation Centre (SOHIC).
“The state government has commenced decontamination of homes/offices of confirmed cases in Edo. We have set up screening facilities (questionnaire-based) in six Primary Health Care (PHC) centres and 4 private health facilities in Oredo LGA, which are being scaled up across the 18 LGAs; this is in addition to the screening centres at borders with Kogi, Ondo and Rivers States. We have also commenced mobile screening for residents across 12 wards in Oredo LGA; this is also being scaled up.”
The commissioner added, “We urge all citizens to abide strictly with government directives on social distancing, use of facemask in the public, regular handwashing with soap under running water or using alcohol-based sanitisers, cough etiquette and compliance with the stay-at-home order.
“We appeal to everyone with symptoms of the disease to come for screening, testing and treatment as prompt detection and treatment increases the chances of survival. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please call these toll-free lines that have been activated by Edo State Government for assistance: 08001235111 or 08002200110.”
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