Coronavirus Updates

April 1, 2020

COVID-19: Task Force receives close to N100m as donations ― Prof Alonge

Professor Tope Alonge

As State Infectious Disease Centre, Olodo, begins operation Monday

By Adeola Badru

THE Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force initiated by Governor Seyi Makinde has hinted that it has revived donations close to a hundred million naira as endowment fund from the willing donors in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

The Task Force also assured the residents of the state that the newly created 100-ed State Infectious Disease Centre at Olodo would become fully operational on Monday

The Acting Chairman of the Task Force and the immediate-past University College Hospital (UCH) Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Temitope Alonge, gave the assurance and disclosure, on Wednesday, while briefing newsmen on the updates made so far in the fight against the in the state.

He also informed that the state is already considering modalities for giving palliatives to the people of the state to cushion the effect of the hardship occasioned by the partial lockdown of the state.

Alonge, accompanied by some members of the Task Force, which include, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinola Ojo; Special Adviser (Security) to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Fatai Owoseni; Director, Planning, Resources and Statistics, Oyo State Ministry of Health, Dr Abass Gbolahan, among others, noted that stepping in for the governor in the capacity of the chairman is a big task which must be done in order to ensure that information available to the people of the state is correct, accurate and as precise as it could be, while he rated the level of a job done at the centre to be above 80 per cent.

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He added that the infections disease centre in Olodo which he described as the main anchor of cases of COVID-19 in the state “is almost set to begin to receive the first set of patience effective from Monday.

“Monday because we have made some adjustments to the entire centre and I can take you through the flow.

“But, most importantly, the two issues that the task force in Oyo State has been able to achieve is that the functionality of the task force through the EOC is not focusing a hundred per cent on treatment but on actual prevention and education of the people and that is why you have seen us go round the markets, distributed materials to the local government authorities primarily to let the people know that prevention is actually better than cure.

“And so, if we maintain all the preventive measures that have been put in place and are been hammered upon on a regular basis by the members of the Task Force, I believe we will have less of a burden coming into the treatment centre.

“Please as much as possible, maintain physical distance and not social distancing alone. Physical distancing is different from social distancing in the sense that social distancing was brought in as terminology that was to reduce social interactions in pubs, clubs and areas where people relax. Whereas physical distancing is more apt in telling you to maintain a distance between yourself and your neighbour.

“Ensure you wash your hands regularly and more importantly, please be on the lookout for people that may have symptoms around you. This disease does not respect persons, neither does it respect academia, political positions, cadre and our Governor has been magnanimous not only to express his best wishes to everybody in Oyo State, but he is in sound health and sound mind and he is still controlling the affairs of the state.

“Leveraging from his encouragement to us, those of us on the field are carrying forth his mandate.

“Today, the extent of work done at Olodo has advanced and the first thing we do is to ensure that the health workers who are going to be working here are not only optimally protected but that they have all that is required.

“As I speak, we have 600 personal protective equipment, specifically earmarked. We have procured three sets of 5KVA inverters. One will power our High Dependency Unit (HDU) and Resuscitation Unit, another one will power the ventilators while the last one will be for the lightings of the entire centre.

“This does not preclude the generators and other sources of power installed in the facility. We only need to put in some finishing touches, like oxygen, running water and solar panel system. We also have a small mortuary because not everyone will survive but we don’t pray for anyone to die. In a setting like this, people are bound to die and we have to provide them with decent storage.”

Also speaking, the state Commissioner of Finance, Mr Akinola Ojo, thanked the people of the state and Nigerians generally for their contributions into the Oyo State COVID-19 endowment fund that was set up in partnership with three different banks.

He said: “We set up three bank accounts with partner banks for the Oyo State COVID-19 endowment fund. We set up an account with First Bank, UBA and Unity Bank.”

“These three accounts are the designated accounts by the state government to accept donations on behalf of the state government. Currently, we have several hundred pledges and as of today (Wednesday), we have close to a hundred million already deposited in these three accounts.”

“So, we must thank the citizens and all those who have helped donate. Also what we want to let everyone know clearly is that only those three accounts are the designated accounts for any donation for Oyo State. Also, we must thank those who donated in-kind and materials.”

Although Ojo did not give the name of any specific donor, he assured that there are lots of donations coming in and there is a sub-group of the task force currently helping to manage the donations that have been received.

Also, Mr Owoseni in his remarks said, the state has achieved about 90 per cent of Enforcement of the curfew, adding that, the security operatives deployed for the enforcement are mindful of human right and avoiding the abuse.