By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Following the confirmation of an index case in the state, the Nasarawa State Government, has established six additional sample collection centres, in addition to the hospitals already taking samples of the three categories of risks associated with COVID-19.
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, disclosed this shortly after inspecting fully equipped isolation centres in Lafia, the state capital, on Wednesday.
Engineer Sule said the decision to set up additional testing centres became necessary after the state registered its first coronavirus patient, with the centres established in Karu, Nasarawa, Keffi, Akwanga, Lafia and Doma.
The Governor pointed out that his administration is taking additional measures to prevent further spread of the pandemic, stressing that already, the index case is receiving treatment at an isolation centre within the Dalhatu Araf Specialists Hospital, with 11 other contacts directly linked to the index case also in isolation.
Engineer Sule expressed satisfaction with the recent decision taken by the Federal Government banning inter state travel, which he said, is assisting Nasarawa State in controlling and containing further spread of the pandemic.
The Governor expressed hope that once people are prevented from traveling from one state to another, there is every likelihood that further spread of the pandemic will be curtailed.
“For us in Nigeria and specifically for us in Nasarawa, it is not our disease, so unless somebody actually brings it. And that is why we are trying to protect the state, by taking preventive measures so that people don’t bring it here,” he stated.
Engineer Sule had earlier inspected the completed, fully equipped 100-bed capacity, as well as single-rooms for VIPs isolation centres at the DASH, 200-bed Shabu isolation centre and the quarantine centre at the Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic, Lafia, where 50 returnees from high risk states of Lagos, Kano and Ogun, have been quarantined.
On display at the isolation centre at the DASH, was one locally manufactured ventilator, among several others purchased by the state government.
At the 200-bed Shabu isolation centre, the Governor expressed satisfaction with the standard of centre, initially an abandoned building but now transformed into a standard isolation centre.
“First and foremost, we want to thank the Federal Government committee on flood that constructed this wonderful building for us.
“We thank the administration of Tanko Al-makura for identifying such a place like this. The moment we finish the road, which is almost completed, you can see that we have a well fitted, standard isolation centre that can take two hundred in all,” Engineer Sule said.
At the quarantine centre at the Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic, the Governor interacted with some of the returnees observing the mandatory 14-days isolation.
He appealed to them to cooperate with government and not to see the exercise as punishment but that government is only taking precautionary measures to not only protect them against the pandemic but the larger society.
The Governor disclosed that result of 12 of the returnees numbering 50 is being awaited and that once they are in the clear, they will be allowed to join their families.