Edo State Government, has on Friday said is working out an economic stimulus package to cushion the economic effect of Coronavirus (COVID – 19) outbreak in the state.
The State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, made the disclosure at a press briefing to update the press on the COVID- 19 response activities, as well as compliance to the government’s stay- at- home order, closure of markets and commercial transporters’ passenger sitting arrangement guidelines.
“The governor has also directed that the state should work out a stimulus package for the vulnerable people in the society that would be affected by the Coronavirus and the stay-at-home order”, he said.
Shaibu, said the stimulus package was sequel to the state governor, Godwin Obaseki approval.
The deputy governor, also disclosed that the government has ordered the relocation of all patients and medical personnel from the Stella Obasanjo Hospital to the Edo Specialist Hospital.
He said the relocation was geared towards the expansion of the 156- bed hospital for isolation centre.
Shaibu, who frowned at the partial compliance of the lockdown by the people of the state, noted that shops and markets are still opened selling other items than essential commodities like food items and medicine.
He however called on the residents and citizens of the state to obey the stay-at-home order so as to protect themselves for the virus, just as he urged security agents to fully enforce the directive.
While disclosing that a good number of persons in the state are in self- isolation noted that they decided to go on a self- isolation as a result of the state governor, Godwin Obaseki’s contact with, Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu and the Bauchi Governor, Bala Mohammed that were both tested positive to the virus.
He, however, disclosed that he tested negative for the virus.
Also speaking, the state commissioner for health, Patrick Okundia said the decision to relocate patients and medical personnel from the Stella Obasanjo Hospital to the Edo Specialist Hospital was to ensure that the state government has a holding centre at the hospital as well as for the management of mild and severe coronavirus cases.
Okundia explained that the hospital is equipped with an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) which will be upgraded and incinerator where all the used medical items will be properly disposed of.
“Initially, the hospital’s isolation centre was 12-bed fully prepared with personnel trained but the government is expanding the isolation centre with another 28-bed. We have to evacuate patients from the 156-bed hospital to be ready for holding centre,” he added.
He also added that the state government has another holding centre at Ogbenosen home located at Government Reservation Area in Benin City.
The commissioner, who said it is a holding centre for high profile cases that need to be kept in privacy, assured that the centre will soon be completed.
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