COVID-19: Bayelsa sends average of 50 samples daily for testing ― Health Director

The Bayelsa Government says it sends about 50 samples of suspected coronavirus victims to laboratories daily for testing.

Dr Jones Stowe, the Director of Public Health and member of the state COVID-19 Task Force disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Yenagoa.

Stowe, who also gave an update of the pandemic in the state, said that Bayelsa had so far recorded 318 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 18 fatalities.

“147 active cases and a total of 153 persons have been discharged,” he said.

He, however, noted that the state only has an isolation centre with 200 beds capacity and an additional quarantine facility of 50 beds.

“We do not have any challenges in collecting samples; the difficulties we are facing are mainly delay in releasing results from the laboratories.

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“Most of these laboratories in Port Harcourt, Rivers and Edo states are very busy with loads of samples, sometimes they even run out of reagents and consumables.

“Well, the state is at an advanced stage of setting up community isolation facilities.

“Assessment has been carried out on more health facilities for the possibility of setting up more sample collection centres as well as screening points in most health facilities in Yenagoa,” the director said.

He urged the public to continue to imbibe the regular and thorough handwashing with soap and water and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

“Always keep social distancing, at least two meters (6 feet) distance between you and anyone. Avoid crowds. Always wear a face mask in any public place.

“Endeavour to practice good respiratory hygiene; when sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve at the flexed elbow or with a tissue. Then dispose-off the used tissue safely, immediately.

“Exposed persons should stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing and notify relevant authorities immediately,” Stowe advised.


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