coronavirus: Edo State Government deploys health officials to airport, motor packs

Edo State Commissioner for health Dr Patrick Okundia, addressing journalists in Benin City

FIC Report (Edo State) – The Edo State Government has intensified campaigns against the spread of coronavirus as health officials have been deployed to the Benin Airport and all the motor parks to screen travelers coming into the state.

The state Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu said this during a meeting with stakeholders in the health sector and the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), at Government House, in Benin City.

Mr Shaibu said,the state government  is very cautious of those entering the state as Coronavirus is completely different from Lassa Fever.

According to him, “We need to start our screening from all the entry points into the state. Our health workers and our partners will be deployed to these flash points. If any case is reported in any of the motor parks or the airport; if any passenger is suspected, our team in these parks will have to quarantine them. We will also commence temperature check in our motor parks and the Benin Airport, to be sure that those coming in and out are free from the disease”.

The deputy governor also noted that efforts will be intensified on public sensitization in order to step up the level of preparedness from the state’s health experts. He added that the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital is going to be a center for screening of any suspected case of coronavirus, adding that the public needs to know that any suspected case will be taken there for screening as well as the state of preparedness of the specialist teaching hospital.

In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Hospital, Prof. Sylvanus Okogbeni, assured that the hospital is capable of carrying out diagnosis, stressing that the virus spreads without symptoms, making it possible to be easily spread by patients. He also emphasized the need to educate people on self-quarantine, noting that a large number of people are going to be quarantined for a long time,

The State Coordinator of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Mrs. Faith Ireye, appealed that the manifest of the airline that boarded the Italian man should be made available to the Edo State Government, adding that Italy is the second home of Edo people.

The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, at an earlier press Conference, said the state government had already put measures in place to check the spread of the novel coronavirus fever which can be transmitted from person to person, usually after close contact with an infected patient. Okundia noted the government is sensitizing staff of the Benin Airport on the screening modalities for air travelers, adding, “There are ongoing awareness creation and sensitization campaign on the novel coronavirus in various news media as well as sensitization of healthcare workers across the health facilities in the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Edo State.

He advised residents to contact the following numbers for more information: Director of Disease Control on 08084096723; State Epidemiologist on 08064258163, Acting State DSNO on 07015216386, and the WHO State Coordinator on 08035835529.

Aisha Sambo
(FIC Benin).