Governor Bello Mohammed Matawallen has launched the largest zero-contact testing centre in Nigeria, in order to significantly increase the testing capacity and protect health workers who are the frontline soldiers in the COVID-19 virus.
Matawalle said the provision of the new state of the art facilities was in furtherance of his administration’s firm resolve to rid the state of the global scourge of COVID-19 with an initiative that is guaranteed to improve the testing capacity of the COVID-19 virus in line with the World Health Organisation recommendations.
This was contained in a statement issued to the Tribune Online and signed by the Director-General Media, Yusuf Idris Gusau.
He said with the latest development it would provide an opportunity for regular test and to isolate COVID -19 patients in the state and its neighbours.
The governor described the intervention as part of the broader strategy put in place by the Zamfara State government, an expeditious response to the COVID-19 pandemic that unsettles our world through the disruption of our social and economic activities, the spike in mortality rate and general exacerbation of global health challenges.
He noted that with the COVID-19 sample collection booths, the state government will be cutting costs by achieving more with less as it had become difficult and economically unsustainable to justify using new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to test each patient, especially with the global scarcity of the vital equipment as the booth pays for itself within 5 to 7 days due to cost savings on the purchase of PPE.
‘This equally ensures timely delivery of COVID-19 collected samples because the booth can be deployed in border towns and remote areas.
He explained that in post-COVID -19, the sample collection booths can be converted into telemedicine booths, an innovation that is poised to boost the people’s access to healthcare and their overall wellbeing, especially in the hinterlands of the state.
He said to date, Zamfara remains one of the states with the best approach to containing COVID-19, having built an ultramodern isolation centre from start to finish within two weeks; procured more PPEs; acquired six (6) PCR machines, disinfectants/decontaminations machines, disinfection tunnels, sample collection Booths etc making it fit for the NCDC to comfortably set-up multiple molecular laboratories a situation which accords the state to boast of having one of the best COVID-19 recovery statistics in the country.
He further stated that following several years of palpable neglect in the health and other sectors in the state, his administration made concerted effort to address the situation including the provision and upgrading of the health institutions; procurement of ambulances in all the 17 General Hospitals in the state.
In addition, his administration had constructed 147 comprehensive healthcare facilities across all the 147 Wards; procured 147 tricycles to all the 147 comprehensive healthcare centres in the state.
He then used the occasion to seek for the support, collaboration and sustainable cooperation of all stakeholders, especially the Federal Government of Nigeria and International Development Partners to join hands with Zamfara State as it strives to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and bring sustainable development and growth.
Conducting the governor round the sample collection booths, the Managing Director of Flying Doctors Health Care Group Investment Limited, Dr Ola Browns said the Sample collection booths have the capacity of collecting 70 samples in an hour and is the largest Non- Contact testing centre in Nigeria.
She stated that the facility has a hundred per cent protection from direct contact with all suspected COVID-19 cases.