Governor Simon Lalong (on Navy blue colour suit) during inspection of the isolation center. Photo credit: Josiah Jenvulu.

Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong, has visited isolation facilities in Jos to ascertain their preparedness in handling Coronavirus cases in the event of any confirmed incident.

Lalong began the inspection visit at the University of Jos Teaching Hospital (UJTH) where he was received by the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Edward Banwat, according to a statement by Dr. Makut Macham, director of press and public affairs to the governor.

The governor inspected the laboratory for production of hand sanitizers at the hospital where he was told that they have the capacity to meet the demands of the state and beyond.

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At the Isolation unit, he was informed that the facility has capacity for 20 patients at a time with room for expansion.

However the facility has two respirators which are grossly inadequate.

Lalong immediately directed the acquisition of four additional ventilators to increase the capacity of the facility.

The governor visited the Plateau Public Health Emergency Centre located at Lugard Road, Jos where he was shown the tracking capacity covering the 17 local government areas of the state.

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Lalong also visited the Bingham University Teaching Hospital Jos to inspect the isolation facility of the hospital.

He was taken round the facility by the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Eswin Isiegbe who said the centre has a capacity for 10 patients and is in need of equipment and consumables such as ventilators and respirators.

Isiebge took the governor round the infectious disease facility being constructed by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control in the teaching hospital which he said would increase the capacity of the institution to handle such cases.

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Governor Lalong promised to provide two ventilators for the isolation centre and also assist the hospital build capacity for effective response.

At the Plateau Specialist Hospital Jos which is the third designated isolation facility for the treatment of Coronavirus in the state, Governor Lalong was received by the Chief Medical Director Dr. Philemon Golwa who informed him that the facility has capacity for 20 beds with room for expansion.

However, the challenges of ventilators, respirators and manpower was also raised which the Governor immediately promised to address as he directed the purchase of two ventilators for the centre.

Speaking with journalists after the inspection, Lalong expressed satisfaction with the state of preparedness of the state to respond to the Coronavirus disease.

“We thank God that so far we do not have any confirmed case in Plateau state, yet we have to prepare ahead looking at what is happening in other states and outside the country. We shall do everything possible to ramp up our capacity to respond effectively as we did with Ebola and with lassa fever which we have contained very well”.

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The Governor however appealed to the citizens of Plateau state to cooperate with the directives of government and relating to ban on large gatherings and closure of schools as well as personal hygiene and contact.

Lalong warned that the government will not hesitate to deal decisively with anybody who violates the directives of government aimed at protecting the citizens of the State from the dreaded disease.