The Private Sector led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has donated a 150-bed fully equipped isolation facility with medical equipment worth millions of naira to the Lagos State Government, to provide support in the fight against the virus within the state.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Yaba Isolation centre, Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu noted that the isolation centre would further strengthen the state's healthcare system in dealing with the challenges of the Pandemic as the state currently leads the toll of Nigeria’s COVID-19 infections with over 10,000 confirmed cases.
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 all citizens to continue to take responsibility and follow directives of the government and health professionals towards reducing the spread of the virus and saving lives across communities.
“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 a face mask, maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene to reduce morbidity and mortality,” the governor said.
He further disclosed plans by the state government to build an International Infectious Disease Research Centre, Doctors’ quarters and permanent isolation wards at the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba as part of Lagos COVID19 response and other infectious disease preparedness in post COVID19 era.
In his remarks, the state commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, said that the centre was the sixth facility in the state dedicated to the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and is coming on board 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.
Also speaking at the event, the Central Bank governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, 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 centre would enhance the state’s healthcare system and the management of COVID-19 within the state.
According to him, N29billion 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 centres across the country.
Emefiele said that 32 isolation centres have been built as of today, with a target to reach 39 isolation centres 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.”
In his remarks, the managing director, Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe said that Lagos was more vulnerable to the 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 for CACOVID.
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The Yaba Isolation centre 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.
Till date, CACOVID has committed billions of naira to build 38 fully equipped isolation centres 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.