Edo State Government says it has increased screening and testing capacity by setting up facilities in churches, mosques and business establishments.
Patrick Okundia, who made the disclosure in an interview with BusinessDay in Benin City, said the screening and testing facilities in worship centres and business establishments will help find those who are positive for COVID-19, in a bid to limit the spread of the virus.
He also disclosed that the state’s target is to screen and test vulnerable persons like elderly people, and those individuals with multiple medical conditions, for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Okundia said the state government had targeted to screen 500,000 and test 5000 persons of Coronavirus but had now screened 511, 572 persons which is about 102.5 percent of the target and tested 5,979.
According to him, though we have exceeded the earlier screening and testing target of 500,000 and 5000 persons respectively but the new approach to COVID-19 response will now be targeted to specific group of persons in the state which are the elderly, and those with multiple disease like hypertension, diabetes among others.
“Going forward the sustainable approach to response which means screening will now be targeted. First, we will make them facility-based which means private and public hospitals will take responsibility of addressing the issue of screening and testing.
“To ensure the safety of our citizens, Edo State has increased screening and testing capacity by setting up facilities in churches, mosques and business establishments.
“We are also targeting it to the vulnerable groups–elderly, those that have comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension. And if they are positive they will be treated . This is the stage we are starting this month”,he said.
On the federal government plan to lockdown 18 Local Government Areas due to surge in cases in the areas, particularly Oredo, the commissioner attributed the increase in the local government to high population density of the area.
“It is no news to us because Oredo is the epicenter in the state but there are explanations to this.
“The virus came into the state through travel history and contact with people that came outside the country. So, I think that created a situation where Oredo as a metropolis had a lot of persons who had contact with people abroad.
“So, we are having the numbers coming up because we are testing. Yesterday, alone we recorded the highest number of 119, but that figure is due to a backlog of samples that were being tested and they batched them together and we had that number”,he added.
Meanwhile, Edo state government, Wednesday announced the discharge of 130 COVID-19 patients.
This was as the state confirmed cases crossed the 1000 threshold.
The State Governor, Godwin Obaseki disclosed this on his official Twitter handle.
“We have discharged 130 COVID-19 patients from our isolation centres across the state. This brings the number of recoveries to 448.
“We lost 1 (one) more person to the virus, with the total number of fatalities now 40 while active cases stood at 707
“Let’s StaySafe to protect the elderly in our state”, he added.
As of July 2, Edo state has recorded 1165 cases, 40 deaths, while 707 persons are currently receiving treatment at the various isolation centers in the state.