DISASTER MANAGEMENT

COVID-19: CACOVID Donates 150-bed Isolation Center, Multi-million Naira Medical Equipment To Lagos State

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By Kingsley I. Ilechukwu

The Private Sector led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID)has donated a 150-bed fully equipped isolation facility with medical equipment worth millions of naira to theLagos State Government, to provide support in the fight against the viruswithin the state.

Speaking at the commissioning of the Yaba Isolation center,Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu noted that the isolation center wouldfurther strengthen the state’s healthcare system in dealing with the challengesof the Pandemic as the state currently leads the toll of Nigeria’s COVID-19infections with over 10,000 confirmed cases.

The Governor commended the Coalition’s efforts in mobilisingresources quickly to support emergency responses and pledged that the donatedfacility would be used to provide adequate treatment to those who are infectedand help to stop the overall spread of the virus within the state.

He urged all citizens to continue to take responsibility andfollow directives of the government and health professionals towards reducingthe spread of the virus and saving lives across communities.

“We need to take responsibility because the virus knows norace, ethnicity, religion or boundary. We need to take responsibility for ourloved ones by wearing face mask, maintaining social distancing and hand hygieneto reduce morbidity and mortality,” the governor said.

He further disclosed plans by the State Government to buildan International Infectious Disease Research Centre, Doctors’ quarters andpermanent isolation wards at the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba aspart of Lagos COVID19 response and other infectious disease preparedness inpost COVID19 era.

In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof.Akin Abayomi, said that the center was the sixth facility in the statededicated to the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and is coming onboard at atime when the state is ramping up its testing capacity.

He further said the 150-bed facility donated by CACOVIDwould be used for the management of moderate to severe COVID-19 patients andwould assist in admitting and providing care for more patients.

Also speaking at the event, the Central Bank Governor,Godwin Emefiele, said that collaboration between the private sector andgovernment was vital to prevent the spread of the virus and save the lives ofthe citizens,

He further said that the center would enhance the state’shealthcare system and the management of COVID-19 within the state.

According to him, N29 billion(US$74.86million) has beendonated so far by members of the coalition towards supporting government’sefforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and that the funds have been used tobuild and equip isolation centers across the country.

Emefiele said that 32 isolation centers have been built asof today, with a target to reach 39 isolation centers by the end of July.

The CBN governor added that CACOVID had also provided in-kindfood palliatives to members of the public across the country to ameliorate theeffects of the virus on their welfare.

He commended members of the coalition for their generous andselfless donations which have helped in achieving its common goal of helpingthe nation fight the spread of COVID-19. He also lauded the healthcare workersand the state government for their efforts in implementing strategies, caringfor the infected patients and reducing the spread of the virus in the state.

Also, the Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited, AlikoDangote said the Lagos Isolation Center was a model for what the coalitionwould build in other states.

Dangote, represented by Ms Zouera Youssoufou, ManagingDirector Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), said: “It is with great pride that wehand over the Yaba Isolation Center to Lagos State. More supports will come tothe state from the coalition and we appreciate everyone’s contribution towardsour goal.”

In his remarks, the Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, HerbertWigwe said that Lagos was more vulnerable to spread of the virus due to itslarge population. He commended the state government for its efforts to reducethe spread and effect of the virus on the citizens. He also appreciated thestate government’s support to CACOVID.

The Yaba Isolation center comes with a fully equippedmedical laboratory and high dependency unit; personal protective equipment andother critical medical consumables; water and sewage treatment plants; 11kvpower generator amongst other essentials. This is in addition to 34,000 testkits, sample collection swabs and infrared thermometers recently delivered tothe NCDC.

Till date, CACOVID has committedbillions of naira to build 38 fully equipped isolation centers across Nigeriawith over 5,000 beds and critical medical equipment needed to fight thepandemic, exemplifying sustainable value addition from a partnership that trulyworks.

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