Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong has undertook a visit to isolation facilities in Jos to ascertain the level preparedness in handling the pressing pandemic, Coronavirus cases in the event of any confirmed incident.
Governor Lalong began his inspection visit to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) permanent site in Lamingo where he was received by the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Edward Banwat who took him on a tour round the facilities. His Excellency, Lalong first inspected the laboratory for production of hand sanitizers at the hospital where he was told that they have the capacity to meet the demands of the State and beyond.
At the Isolation Unit, the governor was informed that the facility has the capacity to accommodate 20 patients at a time with room for expansion. However the facility has only two respirators which are clearly inadequate.
Governor Lalong immediately directed the acquisition of 4 additional ventilators to increase the capacity of the facility.
Governor Lalong also visited the Plateau Public Health Emergency Centre located at Lugard Road, Jos where he was shown the tracking capacity covering the 17 Local Government Areas of the State.
Governor Lalong was also at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital Jos to inspect the isolation facility of the hospital. He was taken round by the Chief Medical Director Prof. Eswin Isiegbe who said the centre has the capacity to care for 10 patients at a time and is in need of equipment and consumables such as ventilators, respirators. He also took the Governor round the infectious disease facility being constructed by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control in the Teaching Hospital which he said would increase the capacity of the institution to handle such cases.
Governor Lalong also promised to provide 2 ventilators for the Isolation Centre at Bingham University Teaching Hospital and also assist the hospital build capacity for effective medical response.
At the Plateau Specialist Hospital Jos which is the third designated isolation facility for the treatment of Coronavirus in the State, Governor Lalong was received by the Chief Medical Director Dr. Philemon Golwa who informed him that the facility has capacity for 20 beds with room for expansion (like that of JUTH). However, the challenges of ventilators, respirators and manpower was also raised which the Governor immediately promised to address as he directed the purchase of 2 ventilators for the centre.
Governor Lalong later spoke with newsmen where he expressed satisfaction with the State of preparedness of the State to respond to the Coronavirus disease. He said “we thank God that so far, we do not have any confirmed case in Plateau State, yet we have to prepare ahead looking at what is happening in other States and outside the country. We shall do everything possible to ramp up our capacity to respond effectively as we did with Ebola and with Lassa Fever which we have contained very well”.
The Governor however appealed to the citizens of Plateau State to cooperate with the directives of Government and relating to ban on large gatherings and closure of schools as well as personal hygiene and contact.
He warned that the Government will not hesitate to deal decisively with anybody who violates the directives of Government aimed at protecting the citizens of the State from the dreaded disease.