I Foresee Ogun Helping Other States To Tackle COVID - 19 Challenges Soon - Coker - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Wednesday, April 22, 2020

I Foresee Ogun Helping Other States To Tackle COVID - 19 Challenges Soon - Coker

••• As Three Out Of Eight Returnees From Togo Test Positive For COVID - 19


Since the discovery of first index case of Coronavirus outbreak on February 27, the state government has been ramping up efforts and facilities to prevent the spread of the deadly virus and flatten its curve. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, who is part of the push to stem the tide in the Gateway State expressed the confidence that given the level of preparedness, the state might be called one day to help respond to COVID - 19 challenges in other States.

What is the situation with statistics of COVID - 19  cases in Ogun State?

About 72 hours ago, we had eight returnees from Togo heading to Sokoto and Jos, we housed them here( one of the isolation facilities) with a driver and a conductor, making ten of them and we tested the 10 of them about 48 hours ago and out of the 10, we got eight results back so far out of which three were positive. From the eight cases, five came from a cluster -  it was from the same cluster we got the five cases. 

Who are those returnees ?

They are Nigerian citizens, returning back to the nation, they were met at the border of Imeko, we were notified of their return. They are Nigerians returning from Togo. The important thing is that these are reported case and if we don't deal with them now, we might have issues of community spreading. 

If such is the case, what is the ministry doing to prevent community spreading?

I must encourage everyone, we are out in 20 Local Governments, we are testing each ward each day for the next fourteen days so that we can avoid community speed because once we have community spread, we would have a challenge on our hands. However, there are also five cases that were accredited to us from Lagos, because the cases reside in Ogun State but they went to test in Lagos State. As you will recall, two weeks ago, we had similar case, we have not gone up to 20. However, we should expect that we are going to keep on having a ramping up of numbers. As we announced, we started testing population based since yesterday, when we do more tests, we are likely to have more results that are positive and the state is prepared. As we all know, we have four isolation centers, this being the fourth one, Ikenne has the highest capacity which is 128 beds, OOUTH has 25 beds and Iberekodo has 72 beds. So we are ready to scale up, we have also identified sites where we can scale up into if we come to a situation of exhausting our capacity of 300.

NCDC  seemed impressed with the level of preparedness  by the Ogun state govt to combat the spread of the virus. What informed that ?

We have got a lot of examples that the NCDC is taking to other states. For example, our standard operating policies, our protocol guidelines, and my suspicion is that there might be a time that they are going to ask us to support other states in responding. They were actually taken aback by the level of our preparedness and how precise we are, the details we have gone into.

 What further steps are being taken by the state to flatten the COVID - 19 curve in Ogun ?

The next stage for us, is actually the training of our staff, and making sure that the equipments we have acquired so far, we have staff that can use them to respond appropriately to the challenges that might confront us in the future.

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