The National Centre for Disease Control NCDC has on Tuesday commended the efforts of the Oyo State government through the State Task Force Team on COVID-19, as well as the efforts of the frontline workers in the State, in the fight against the novel Coronavirus.
The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, gave the commendation after touring the testing facilities and isolation centres, amongst other efforts put up against Coronavirus in the State.
The DG, who led a team of top Management Staff of the Agency, as well as officials of the World Health Organisation, WHO, on a courtesy visit to Governor Makinde at the Agodi Government House Ibadan, also visited the Emergency Operation Centre EOC at the Agodi Secretariat, the Virology Laboratory Centre at the University College Hospital UCH. He also went to the State-owned Infectious Disease Centre, Olodo, all in Ibadan.
The NCDC boss expressed delight at the manner with which the people in the State are coming together and collaborating at the State and Federal institutions, agencies and bodies in the fight against the pandemic, adding that his team had also compared notes with members of the State Task Force on areas of improvement.
Ihekweazu said, “We have seen all components of the response really beginning to come together. We now have to make these things functional, find a way of keeping it going and learn from one another as we progress in this response.”
“I am impressed with the commitment of the State government and all the resources in the State. And I think to work together with WHO support, the NCDC support and all aspects of government, we can really create a great example for the country here in Ibadan,” he noted.
The DG asserted that the Infectious Diseases Centre would not only serve Oyo State but also serve Nigeria for many years to come for all sorts of infectious diseases, for research, for diagnosis and for care.
“So, I really look forward to coming back here in a few months and seeing a vibrant centre with staff, patients, researchers and activities happening. I leave Oyo State very gratified with the progress made, and I am very grateful for all of you and the good people of the State,” he concluded.
While hosting the visitors at the Government House earlier in the day, Governor Seyi Makinde made a case for the certification and approval of a laboratory located in the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture IITA, as a testing centre for COVID-19 in the State.
Makinde said the request for the approval of the IITA facility is imperative in view of the need to increase the number of laboratories in the State, going by the large population and the desire to increase testing facilities.
He stated that the institution had written a letter to the NCDC and the State government in respect of the request for the certification of the laboratory.
The Governor explained that Oyo, as a vast and populated State, required additional laboratory centres, reiterating the determination of his administration to test at least 10,000 people in the State, in the shortest possible time.