By Ariwodola Idowu/Ado Ekiti
Ekiti state government said it has concluded arrangements to open its own COVID-19 testing lab next week.
When in place, the lab would serve as a place where suspected Coronavirus patients could be tested without having to wait for the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, made this known at the COVID-19 update media briefing, in Ado Ekiti on Friday.
She said the planned facility would increase the capacity for more tests.
According to her, the facility is being provided by Governor Kayode Fayemi in partnership with well-meaning Ekiti indigenes and other private sponsors.
She said that the state was still awaiting the NCDC to redeem its promise to establish such a laboratory in Ekiti.
“The governor then reached out to well meaning Ekiti indigenes and friends to provide a facility that will boost our testing capacity.
“We are very optimistic that the testing kits, reagents and other materials to be used will arrive Ekiti next week,” she said.
Yaya-Kolade said that the state has seven patients on admission.
Some of them have tested negative and are now awaiting second tests before they could be discharged.
“All of them are also stable. We are still tracing about eleven others who had contacts with the patients in isolation,” the commissioner said.
She said that some people who came into the state illegally and those who are manifesting signs, had been picked, and are being quarantined while their samples are being taken on daily basis.
Yaya-Kolade said the state government is determined to ensure that the state records no death again, adding that testing capability will be increased with the arrival of a test laboratory.
She debunked claims that burial had been banned in the state.
She said burial can be done after an approval from the state government.
“Burial can be done in Ekiti, but this is upon getting approval and it has to be done in compliance with social distancing directive.
“At such gathering, not more than 20 people are expected,” she said.
A member of the State Response Team, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, said government had enlisted the services and support of drivers and community associations for increased vigilance on those illegally entering the state.
Aluko, who who is also the Director-General, Office of Transformation and Strategic Delivery, said apart from security agencies, the government is getting information from communities, so that those sneaking into the state could be apprehended.
“I can assure you those caught are being profiled and made to face the Magistrate, among other consequences,” he said.
Aluko, however, appealed to whoever wants to help the people with palliatives to distribute it in a manner that is dignifying and in tandem with the laid down rules.
“We don’t want a situation whereby our people will be milling around and scampering for food, because they can further spread the disease through this action,” he said.
The Commissioner for Environment, Mr Gbenga Agbeyo, applauded the level of enforcement of compulsory use of face masks by residents and compliance with other directives.