By Eseoghene Emuke
The Delta State Government has inaugurated a testing centre for suspected cases of COVID-19 at the Asaba Specialist Hospital after residents of the state criticized absence of a testing laboratory in the il-rich state.
The centre was inaugurated on Wednesday by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Chiedu Ebie, on behalf of the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
Ebie said with the establishment of the centre, the state will now speed up control and diagnostic capacity in the state.
Delta currently have seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 with two of the cases reported dead before the results of their samples were released while two had been discharged after recovering from the pandemic and three active.
The SSG, while thanking management of Irrua Specialist Hospital and Pandora Group for deploying the laboratory to the state, noted that the centre will enable suspected cases of COVID-19 to be tested and the result received on time.
According to him, “We have just had a brief tour of this test centre which is a partnership between PANDORA ID NET and Delta State Government and facilitated by Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH).
“This is the first in the series of test centres that we will be establishing here in Delta and what this means is that we will be able to wrap up our testing of suspected COVID-19 patients or samples so that the results will come out faster within the shortest time possible.
“We are very grateful to PANDORA team and the representative of the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital and also to the Commissioner for Health for all the good work he has been doing and the team from NCDC.”
In his remark, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, said that the laboratory was a dream come-through as the centre could run many tests as possible.
He said the state government was doing its best in the containment of the disease and advised anyone with symptoms of the ailment to report to the appropriate medical facilities of government for treatment.
Ononye stated that Delta had recorded two deaths to the disease, because the patients reported very late, stressing that the team handling the virus in the state had all the technical know-how to treat suspected cases.
“Over the past weeks, people have been asking how we could get testing centres in Delta. The Irrua Specialist Hospital has been the designated place for the South-South for this type of tests.
“We are glad to have Irrua Specialsit Hospital and PANDORA partner with us to establish this testing Centre here in Asaba.
“Obviously, we are doing a lot of active search for contacts and with the establishment of this testing centre we will be more on top of the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic in Delta.
“The state government is doing all that is possible so that Deltans enjoy robust health at a time such as this and I must appreciate our dear Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, who has given every support so that Delta is truly on top of the fight against the pandemic.
“We have a case management team that is capable and equal to the task. Although it is a new disease and everybody is learning but be that as it may, the team has capacity.
“Two of our cases have been discharged successfully and they have reunited with their families; we have three active cases now on treatment.
“The deaths we have recorded so far were deaths that happened even when diagnosis were made, and we encourage persons who have symptoms similar to COVID-19 to report to any of our centres and attention will be given to them.” he stated.
The representative of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Dr Reuben Eifediyi, said the deployment of the centre was to enable suspected cases in the state have access to medical facilities for testing before treatment could commence.
He charged residents of the state to maximize the opportunity to avert reporting to the hospital when the situation had become critical.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu and officials of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) witnessed the event.