Testing, isolation centres shut in states despite imminent COVID-19 third wave
The 250-bed isolation centre located at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt is no longer functional. The centre was set up at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the patients were quartered at the centre while the facility also served as a quarantine shelter for violators of COVID-19 protocols in the state.
Our reporter also gathered that the Agbonchia Eleme isolation centre, which is located inside the Agbonchia General Hospital is no longer functional.
However, the isolation centre located inside the premises of the state-owned teaching hospital was still functional.
It was learnt that COVID-19 patients have been receiving treatment at the centre.
One centre in Oyo converted to health facility
Most of the isolation centres in Oyo state are still functional, Daily Trust reports. However, one of them has been converted to a primary health care centre.
No patients in Kaduna, Bayelsa isolation centres
Kaduna State has 30-bed isolation centres in southern Kaduna, in Zaria and other parts of the state, including the one located at Hamdala Motel in the capital.
The state said it is also building another centre in the Mando area of Igabi Local Government Area.
Our correspondent who visited the major isolation centre at Hamdala gathered that there was no patient at the time of the visit.
According to one of the staff, who didn’t want to be mentioned, workers report for duty daily even though there were no patients in the facility.
It was observed that grasses had covered some part of the building, an indication of lull in activities.
Meanwhile, the Niger State, Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammed Makusidi said that testing had been ongoing in the state even though it had not recorded any case in the last four months.
“The third wave is not in Niger yet. We are prepared for it and we have the best laboratory. We are not relenting, we are still testing and no case has been recorded so far,” he said.
Also, checks by Daily Trust revealed that the Bayelsa State Isolation centre located at Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Yenagoa is not housing any patient at the moment, because the cases of infection have dropped.
A source at the centre said that the state government is no longer operating an isolation centre but advised patients to always quarantine themselves at home and call medical personnel to treat them at home.
Director of Public Health, Bayelsa State Ministry of Health, Dr Jones Stowe, said the state is very prepared for the third wave of the virus and that trained medical personnel are ready for emergencies.
Benue, Jigawa response
In Benue State, our correspondent reports that currently, there are no patients at the COVID-19 isolation centre located within the Benue State Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) in Makurdi.
The Incident Manager, Risk Communication and State Epidemiologist, Dr. Sam Terungwa Ngishe said the isolation centre is open for operation despite not having any patients on admission.
Ngishe expressed worry that the number of people making themselves available for testing
reactivate was low just as he disclosed that the molecular laboratory under construction by the state government would be ready in a month’s time.
Meanwhile the Acting Chairman of the Jigawa State Task Team on COVID-19 Implementation Committee, Dr. Salisu Mu’azu, said Jigawa has two functional isolation centres, located in the state capital, which, he said, have always been active.
He said the centres have been routinised in such a way that, they have been made to function like the conventional health centres.
Mu’azu, who is also the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Health, assured of the state’s preparedness at all times to contain the possible outbreak of any disease, using the existing facilities.
We’re ill-prepared for third wave – Expert
Dr Casmir Ifeanyi said Nigeria, just like during the first and second waves is not prepared to handle the third wave. He said the situation was further worsened with the way both the government and the members of the public have let down their guards.
He said, “Over time, we have become relaxed with our response, testing and isolation centres.
“Most of the isolation and treatment centres have folded up or collapsed. We were supposed to integrate them into our tertiary health system; federal medical centres, university teaching hospitals, specialist hospitals and general hospitals.
“By default, all these tiers of hospitals are supposed to have isolation centres. What happened to them over the years? Why can’t we use the COVID-19 pandemic to revamp those units of the hospital, and get them to be topnotch and functional. That is what we need to do.”
Story by: Ojoma Akor & Abbas Jimoh (Abuja) Usman B. Balarabe, Salisu Ahmad & Muhammad Sulaiman (Kano) Risikat Ramoni (Lagos) Bassey Willie (Yenagoa) Jeremiah Oke (Ibadan), Victor Edozie (Port Harcourt) Hope A. Emmanuel (Makurdi), Ado A. Musa (Jos), Romoke W. Ahmad (Minna), Mumini Abdulkareem (Ilorin), Mohammed I. Yaba (Kaduna), Mohammed Abubakar (Dutse) Misbahu Bashir (Maiduguri), Hassan Ibrahim, (Bauchi) & Haruna G. Yaya, (Gombe)