The Edo State Government has provided life insurance and other special allowances for healthcare workers handling coronavirus (COVID-19) response in the state, as motivation to work on the frontlines in the fight against the pandemic.
Governor Godwin Obaseki, who disclosed this in a broadcast, said the state is making steady progress in containing the infectious disease, noting that Edo has started treating patients in 3 of the 4 isolation centres in the three senatorial districts of the state, which have a total capacity of 300 beds and 30 ventilators.
According to him, the state government has acquired additional 3 PCR machines and trained over 4,200 healthcare workers who are now manning the state’s screening, testing and treatment facilities.
Obaseki said, “Our health workers are crucial if we are to win the fight against COVID-19, therefore, we have emphasised training, equipping and motivation of frontline health workers. To date we have trained over 4200 healthcare workers who are now manning our screening, testing and treatment facilities. Apart from providing the safety and protection required, we have offered them life insurance and special allowances to continue to motivate them.
“I am glad to inform you that the testing centre at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) is now ready. We have begun trial tests under the guidance of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). We expect it will commence full operations this week. We have also taken delivery of another PCR testing machine currently being installed at the Edo Specialist Hospital which we hope will also be ready within the next 2 weeks. This will give us the capacity to perform up to 1000 tests daily in Edo State.”
The governor, who noted that the state government has continued distribution of relief materials to vulnerable persons in the state to cushion the economic effect of the stay-at-home order, said, “We are quite aware that many families and individuals are suffering as a result of the partial lock down. That is why we have started distributing food items to vulnerable families and will give medical support to even more. We are fumigating and providing water in markets, parks and public spaces and have reduced taxes on small businesses.”
“Our operations involve huge logistics effort and coordination of more than 500 people trained to collect, process and distribute samples, supplies and palliatives. Up to 2,000 men and women from Federal and State security agencies are helping us provide security for our health workers and residents whilst ensuring compliance and enforcement of our safety guidelines,” he said.
He continued, “I am also pleased to inform you that surveillance, contact tracing and line listing is very effective in all local governments in Edo State. Every reported case is actively searched and Persons of Interest (POIs) are thoroughly followed up. We have started treating patients in 3 of the 4 isolation centres in Benin City, Irrua and Auchi, which have a total capacity of 300 beds and 30 ventilators.”