By Timothy Alao, Osogbo
As Nigeria continues to combat the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus, the Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Wednesday, 20 May, 2020 commissioned a state-of-the-art Mercyland Isolation Centre in Osogbo, the State capital.
He said the Coalition Against COVID-19 (Ca-COVID) renovated the health facility and donated equipment and consumables for 100 beds to which the state government added another 60 beds.
“On the same premises, the state has another 20-room single beds isolation centre, giving the Mercyland facility a 180-bed isolation centre,” the governor added.
Inaugurating the facility, Oyetola disclosed that the facility was an addition to other initiatives of the State government in containing the spread of the rampaging virus.
He attributed the successes recorded by the state on the effective management of the pandemic to holistic approach launched against the virus since its outbreak in Nigeria and the State.
Oyetola noted that his administration had swiftly adopted creative and proactive methods to manage the pandemic as it had dedicated funds, human resources and indeed, focused resolve to beat the virus and end the menace.
He said the state government had renovated and equipped three other isolation centres which include, 130-bed facility in Ejigbo; 12-bed capacity in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, a 20-bed isolation centre and 8-bed Intensive Care Unit at State Specialist Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo, noting that the State now has 342-isolation beds and 8 ICU-bed facility.
Oyetola said: “We are adopting a holistic approach to winning the pandemic, including working with the National Centre for Disease Control and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“We have dedicated personnel doing contact tracing, testing of contacts, isolation and care of patients for quality treatment. We have extensive publicity and sensitization programmes in place to educate and update our citizens regularly on how to stop COVID-19 in its tracks.
“There has also been provision of palliative for citizens, introduction of lockdown and curfew as appropriate to ensure effective containment of the virus without hurting our economy and livelihoods.
“The employment of this method as well as the cooperation and compliance of our citizens is the reason we have been able to achieve the modest success we have recorded so far, despite the huge imported cases we had to contend with at the initial stage of the pandemic in the State”.
Commending the Coalition Against COVID-19 for being supportive of the state in its efforts to eliminate the pandemic, the Governor opined that, “complementing government’s efforts at ensuring the safety and security of the people is the highest duty that a corporate entity, group or individual can provide, and it is also the greatest measure of the integrity of these entities and their hearts for the people.
“I would, therefore, like to extend deep gratitude to CACOVID for their generosity, sense of duty and love for the people of the State of Osun at this challenging period. With corporate citizens like CACOVID on our side, we are confident as a government that we will win this virulent war.”
Oyetola also appealed to other well-meaning citizens of the state to support the State government in its efforts to combat the pandemic just as he urged residents to continue to comply with the subsisting rules and regulations.
In his remarks, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Benedict Alabi, commended Governor Oyetola for prioritising the health of the citizens since his assumption of office.
Alabi who doubled as the Chairman, Osun COVID-19 Taskforce, attributed the achievements recorded by the Taskforce in the management of COVID-19 to the huge support received from the governor.
“With necessary support from the governor, the Osun COVID-19 Taskforce, which I chair, has been able to coordinate the activities of the state’s intervention against the spread of the coronavirus with necessary vigour and attendant success.
“The speed and sequence of the state government’s response to the initial spate of spread of the novel virus, coupled with consistency in management and containment of the pandemic in our dear state have tremendously elicited accolades from all quarters”, Alabi added.
Earlier in his remarks, the COVID-19 Coordinator for Oyo and Osun states, Mr. Timothy Arowoogun, applauded the way and manner at which the Osun State government has been managing the pandemic since it birthed in the state.
Arowoogun who described Osun as one of the few states in Nigeria that had proved their capacities and commitments in combating the deadly disease, called on well-meaning individuals and groups to support state governments in their collective resolve to eliminate the pandemic in the country.
He also reaffirmed the commitment of the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID) to ensure adequate support for government at various levels to end the spread of the disease.