Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, yesterday inaugurated an Isolation Centre built by the Ondo State COVID-19 Response Fund, with technical assistance of the Interministerial Committee on COVID-19, just as he assured health workers in the State of his commitment to the payment of Special COVID-19 allowance even though the pandemic has significantly and adversely affected the State finances.
This is even as the state recorded 30 deaths from the disease.
Akeredolu while commissioning the Ultra Modern Isolation Centre situated at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Annex, Ondo, maintained that the action is in furtherance of his determination to fill existing gap in terms of high-level care for those who have underlying conditions and are, therefore, most susceptible to complications and death from COVID-19.
According to him, the Centre will not only be useful to people with COVID-19 infections but also to Lassa fever victims and those that may be infected with other types of highly infectious diseases in the future.
He stressed that the government would continue with massive multi-media efforts to educate the people and provide relieve packages of foods and household materials to economically and socially disadvantaged segments of the population across the 18 local government areas.
The Governor who commiserated with the families of the former Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro said his death remains a great loss to the State, as he fought selflessly to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
He however thanked health workers and other professionals who have been at the forefront of the fight against the disease, adding that since the time of recording the first case of COVID-19 in the State in April 2020, the government has gallantly risen to the occasion with several initiatives, as such it is on record that Ondo State is one of the few states that have successfully put in place specific strategies, programmes and laws to fight against the pandemic.
In his goodwill message, the Acting Commissioner for Health and Special Adviser to Mr. Governor on Health, Hon. Jibayo Adeyeye lauded Mr. Governor for his giant strides in the State’s health sector.
He said the present administration’s interest in the sector has led to many of its outstanding achievements like the establishment of the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, establishment of first critical care unit in Ondo State, employment of over 500 Doctors, accreditation of courses at UNIMED, distribution of equipment worth 16 million dollars and others that are too numerous to mention. He appealed to the people to give needed support to the Governor, to enable him carry out more life benefitting projects in the State.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the Interministerial Committee on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Vice Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Dr. Adesegun Fatusi, acknowledged the government for the support given to the Committee in its effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus in Ondo State.
Prof Fatusi revealed that the Interministerial Committee has been able to flatten COVID-19 curve, using a 7-pillar strategic roadmap codenamed “Ondo Succeeds”, based on strong public health principles and global best practices.
He highlighted the concept of the acronym SUCCEEDS as: strengthening human resource base and performance, up to date response protocols using evidence, community engagement and social mobilisation, establishment of testing facilities and improved test uptake rate, expansion of treatment facilities, deepening public education, health promotion and media engagement and strengthening response management, including coordination, distribution of personal protective equipment and other essential supplies as well as monitoring of compliance and enforcement of relevant public health measures.
Professor Fatusi said the Committee has been able to ensure appropriate treatment and care for those infected, adding that 1,539 positive cases and 30 deaths have been recorded so far, signifying a mortality rate of less than 2% – which is very commendable and showcases Ondo State as one of the best-performing states in the country.
He said aside the Isolation Centre being commissioned by the Governor in Ondo, the Isolation Centre in Ikare is ready for use; work is almost completed at the Isolation Ward, Okitipupa, coupled with the upgrading of the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Akure, all targeted at making Ondo State one of the leading States in the fight against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
The Don assured the Government and people of the State of the Committee’s commitment to ensure total victory against COVID-19, while soliciting for more support from government, the National Centre for Disease and Control and other stakeholders.