Covid-19: Anambra State Not Ready

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Igwe Ojoto

The government of Anambra state yesterday, Tuesday 24th March 2020, named three isolation centers in the state as part of its preparations to manage the CoronaVirus should it spread to the state.

NCDC announce new coronavirus case in Nigeria

The three isolation centers include: Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital in Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital in Awka and The General Hospital in Onitsha

The team from anaedoonline.com, visited Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, that houses one of the proposed Isolation center of the government, today, March 25, 2020, to ascertain the level of preparedness at the hospital in case there is any CONVID19 case.

At the entry point of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, the personnel at the gate were distributing hand sanitizers in small portions to visitors to rub all over their hands.

As we approached the Public Relations(PR) Department, we noticed that most of the staff were seen wearing nose masks, hand gloves and generally avoiding contacts meanwhile, patients were clustered all over the place.

Read Also: Anambra State Govt Announces 3 Isolation Centres For Coronavirus

We got to the door of the PR department and we were told we could come no further. We inquired about the proposed Isolation center, one of the attendants there asked us to wait briefly before leading us to the isolation center.

Covid-19

The PR staff who spoke on behalf of the HOD of the PR department Mrs. Onwuka, stated that they are well prepared ahead of the pandemic. As we observed the structure, we inquired how many patients will be able to fit into the room, she said about 10 people.

We asked if this was the only structure on the ground, she answered yes. We walked around and inquired about the necessary equipment needed to manage the pandemic should it spread like ventilators and other medical needs, she stated they have some but couldn’t give an accurate figure.

As we walked around the structure, we observed that the facility made available for the Covid-19 isolation center is too small for even 10 persons and looks like a cubicle. It is barely two rooms in a flat, as we peeped into it, we noticed that some parts of it is an office which is still in use by the staff. We didn’t see any equipment on ground but we were assured of its availability.

The pathway leading up to the Isolation center was clustered with patients, we inquired if there will be a lockdown of the hospital when there is a case, she said as events unfold, more information will be made available.

We were reliably informed that the equipment on the ground will not suffice if there are cases in the hospital. We inquired about support from the state and federal government but none has been made available at the moment.

They suggested they will need more equipment if there is an outbreak and appealed for support from Ndi Anambra and NGOs. The clustered environment cannot serve as a supposed “Isolation center,” seeing how thousands flock the hospital premises on a daily basis.

The size of the isolation center in NAUTH begs the question when will NAUTH be moved to the permanent site at umudim? NAUTH has been at its temporary site at Nnewichi for over 29 years which used to be a general hospital.

The present site has become too small for both the staff and patients and with the recent pandemic; the surrounding arena a the present site which is home to many people may be risky for many people.

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