Coronavirus: Provide more standard isolation centres, Senate President tells FG

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has called on the Federal Government to provide more standard isolation centres across the country to check likely spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

He made the call on Tuesday, at a meeting with the Health Minister and officials of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) at the National Assembly, Complex.

While raising concern over the fact that the centre in Gwagwalada, in the Federal Capital Territory was yet to be completed, Lawan called for the establishment of standard centres in at least the six geopolitical zones.

“We need to do something pragmatic. The building in Gwagwalada is not completed so we have a temporary centre and the temporary centre is not a standard centre.

“God forbid if something happens in Abuja, Nasarawa, Niger or Kogi because they don’t have isolation centres what do we do.

“Some states provide response centres. I imagine we should have the standard set by the Federal Ministry of Health for the centre for disease control rather than states doing whatever they think they should do.

“For now I think only Lagos has a standard and functioning centre.

“The one in Gwagwalada is not ready, the one in Kano is not ready, that is my understanding.

“I think we need to step up because this is an emergency we should do whatever it is to provide the centres, to make them functional should there be any need.

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“If there is no need, that expenditure is not in vain we have done it in the interest of our people,” he said.

He further said that the Senate would on Wednesday, visit the Gwagwalada centre to ascertain the state of affairs.

The Minister, Osagie Ehanire said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had set the standard on how the isolation centres should like.

On the Director-General, NCDC Chikwe Ihekweazu that carried out self-quarantine, Ehanire said that “what we do as part of our protocol that anybody who has been out of the country, he is immediately isolated if he is positive, he is sent straight away to isolation centre.

”But anybody who is coming from any of these areas, after been screened and with zero symptoms, first we give him good advisory that on the interest of everybody around him, keep yourself isolated in your house.”

“Meanwhile quarantine means keeping somebody who is healthy on observation to see if he developed the symptom of the disease.

”If he develops the symptoms, he will move from quarantine to isolation. Isolation means you have it and you are not allowed to contact anybody else because you can infect other people.

“Dr is in quarantine in his own house, that is international standard practice, recommended by WHO.

”After the mandatory period, then he is free to come out, this is the standard practice in many countries,” he said. (NAN)

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