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Coronavirus: Edo govt establishes five screening centres at land borders with Ondo, Kogi, Delta

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…cases rise to 29, as state draws up database of vulnerable persons for relief package

The Edo State Government has set up five additional screening centres across land borders with Ondo, Delta and Kogi States, to check the importation of coronavirus (COVID-19) into the state.

Deputy Governor and Chairman, Edo State COVID-19 Response Technical Committee, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu, who disclosed this in a press briefing on Tuesday, at the Government House, Benin City, said the move is aligned with the target of screening and testing 500,000 and 5,000 persons, respectively, in the state.

According to him, “The Edo State Government has opened additional screening centres across the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and border entries into the state, especially the borders with Delta, Ondo and Kogi States. This is aimed at guarding against importation of the virus from these states and preventing community transmission.”

Shaibu said Governor Godwin Obaseki, would on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 issue further directives on the state-wide curfew, which was announced to last for an initial period of 10 days.

“The governor is consulting widely with medical experts and other stakeholders in the state to reach a decision on new order regarding the curfew,” he said.

Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Governor, Kingsley Ehigiamusor, said with the additional 5 screening centres established across land borders with neighbouring states, Edo State now has a total of 19 screening centres, with 14 in Oredo LGA.

The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, said the state has tested 254 cases out of which 29 persons have tested positive for the virus, noting that COVID-19 cases would continue to increase as the state ramps up testing for the virus.

He noted, “197 of the suspected cases were confirmed negative representing 76.4 percent. Out of the 29 confirmed cases, we have recorded 3 deaths and discharged eight patients. Total active cases in the state currently undergoing treatment are 18. These persons are distributed across three isolation centres in the state.”

Dr. Okundia said results for 31 samples are pending, adding that there are 326 Persons of Interest (PoI) in the state and out of this number, 105 have exited follow-up; 420 contacts have been line-listed, and 300 have exited monitoring.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Coordinator in Edo State, Faith Ireye, said from the 29 confirmed cases, the state has completed line-listing for 25 persons, which resulted to 420 contacts from which 300 exited, while 120 are being followed up.

She said, “Our team is in the field currently line-listing contact for the four new cases and at the end of today, we would have more contacts. As at today, 17 of the 18 LGAs have reported suspected cases; this is made possible by our strong contact tracing team in all the LGAs.”

The Edo State Focal Person for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Mrs. Ifueko Alufokhai, said data of the needy and vulnerable persons in the state are being collated, while a call centre is being set up to verify persons who will benefit from the mobile wallet package in partnership with Access Bank.

She said, “We are coordinating the welfare package for the poor and vulnerable persons in Edo State. We are to also develop a long-term plan for proper targeting and employment of vulnerable persons in the state.”

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