By George Kalisa
The Private Sector led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has today donated a 150-bed isolation centre to the Lagos State. The centre, which is a fully equipped isolation facility with medical equipment worth millions of Naira will provide support in the fight against the virus within the state, said a statement released Monday morning.
Lagos State has so far recorded 10,000 cases of the novel Coronavirus, leading the death toll in Africa’s largest economy.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor said that the isolation center at Yaba would further strengthen the State’s healthcare system and enable it deal with challenges of the Pandemic.
The Governor commended the Coalition’s efforts in mobilising resources quickly to support emergency responses and pledged that the donated facility would be used to provide adequate treatment to those who are infected and help to stop the overall spread of the virus within the state.
He urged citizens to continue taking responsibility and follow directives of the government and health professionals to mitigate the spread of the virus and saving lives.
“We need to take responsibility because the virus knows no race, ethnicity, religion or boundary. We need to take responsibility for our loved ones by wearing face mask, maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene to reduce morbidity and mortality,” observed Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu divulged post COVID-19 plans put in place by his State.
He said that State Government will build an International Infectious Disease Research Centre, Doctors’ quarters and permanent isolation wards at the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba as part of Lagos COVID-19 and other infectious disease preparedness in post COVID19 era.
On his part, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said that the center was the sixth facility in the state dedicated to the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and is coming onboard at a time when the state is ramping up its testing capacity.
He further said the 150-bed facility donated by CACOVID would be used for the management of moderate to severe COVID-19 patients and would assist in admitting and providing care for more patients.
Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank Governor said that collaboration between the private sector and government was vital to prevent the spread of the virus and save the lives of the citizens,
He further said that the center would enhance the state’s healthcare system and the management of COVID-19 within the state.
According to him, N29 billion has been donated so far by members of the coalition towards supporting government’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and that the funds have been used to build and equip isolation centers across the country.
Emefiele said that 32 isolation centers have been built as of today, with a target to reach 39 isolation centers by the end of July.
The CBN governor added that CACOVID had also provided in-kind food palliatives to members of the public across the country to ameliorate the effects of the virus on their welfare.
He commended members of the coalition for their generous and selfless donations which have helped in achieving its common goal of helping the nation fight the spread of COVID-19. He also lauded the healthcare workers and the state government for their efforts in implementing strategies, caring for the infected patients and reducing the spread of the virus in the state.
Also, the Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote said the Lagos Isolation Center was a model for what the coalition would build in other states.
Dangote, represented by Ms Zouera Youssoufou, Managing Director Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), said: “It is with great pride that we hand over the Yaba Isolation Center to Lagos State. More supports will come to the state from the coalition and we appreciate everyone’s contribution towards our goal.”
Herbert Wigwe, the Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, said that Lagos was more vulnerable to spread of the virus due to its large population. He commended the state government for its efforts to reduce the spread and effect of the virus on the citizens. He also appreciated the state government’s support to CACOVID.
The Yaba Isolation center comes with a fully equipped medical laboratory and high dependency unit; personal protective equipment and other critical medical consumables; water and sewage treatment plants; 11kv power generator amongst other essentials. This is in addition to 34,000 test kits, sample collection swabs and infrared thermometers recently delivered to the NCDC.
To date, CACOVID has committed billions of naira to build 38 fully equipped isolation centers across Nigeria with over 5,000 beds and critical medical equipment needed to fight the pandemic, exemplifying sustainable value addition from a partnership that truly works.