By Nathan Nwakamma
The private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has donated a 48-bed isolation centre and medical equipment to the Bayelsa Government.
The gesture is to boost capacity at the state-owned Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri.
Dr Nathaniel Akpoku, co-Chairman of the Bayelsa Task Force on COVID-19, who spoke at the inauguration of the centre on Saturday, commended the gesture.
Akpoku applauded the coalition put together by the Dangote Group and Access Bank for the intervention to strengthen the capacity of public health system in Bayelsa to fight novel coronavirus.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the facility complements a 70-bed facility donated by Chevron and a 20-bed isolation ward at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa.
The intervention also complements an existing 60-bed capacity isolation centre built by the the state government.
Akpoku said that the centre would improve care for patients infected with COVID-19.
He gave the assurance that medical personnel managing the cases would put the facility to good use.
He said that Gov. Douye Diri as well as COVID-19 patients in the stare appreciated support from the coalition.
Earlier, the Chief Medical Director of NDUTH, Prof. Dimie Ongoin, said that the hospital management was encouraged by the increased capacity which, he said, would position the hospital to manage more cases.
Also, Dr Johnbull Jumbo, Chairman of Medical Advisory Committee, NDUTH, said that the intervention was timely and a relief.
According to him, there are many suspected COVID-19 cases awaiting results of tests by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC).
In his remarks, Mr Flint Kakiri, a reprensatative of CACOVID, applauded the efforts of the Bayelsa Government in the fight against COVID-19.
Kakiri said that the state government granted approvals promptly to facilitate collaboration with CACOVID to increase isolation capacity at NDUTH to over 100.
He said that CACOVID provided hospital beds and beddings, medical equipment, medical consumables and personal protective equipment for health workers in the intervention.