Anambra State government has announced the creation of three isolation centres, one in each of the three senatorial zones of the state to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic if it enters the state.
A release by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala stated the centres to include; Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital in Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital in Awka and the General Hospital, Onitsha.
The release stated that three centre described as surge centres have also been created at General Hospital, Ekwulobia, General Hospital, Umueri, and Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka.
He said, “The surge centres are created to absorb patients who may not be accommodated in the hospitals with Isolation Centres based on existing facilities.”
Meanwhile, there are fears that despite the creation of the centres, the necessary facilities may not have been put in place to make it conducive for patients should the disease berth in the state. Attempts by GCFRNG correspondent to access the centres were also rebuffed.
The Commissioner for Health told GCFRNG correspondent that, “You can not visit the Onitsha centre. If you want to visit, you must wait until I am ready to go there, then you can come with me.”
Investigation by our Correspondent, however, showed that some of the facilities are not yet ready.
A source who is a staff of the Onitsha General Hospital who pleaded anonymity said, “The place has not been properly set up. I am aware that they are still working on it, maybe that is why the Commissioner didn’t want you to go there.”
Speaking on the state of the centre in Nnewi, the Chief Medical Director of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Prof Anthony Igwegbe said there is no Isolation Centre set up by the state in the hospital.
He said what the hospital has is a four bed section prepared by the management of the hospital to help in case of emergency.
Dr Okpala, the Health Commissioner in a telephone interview with GCFRNG said Anambra will not rely solely on isolation centres to treat patients, but intends to adopt modern techniques in tackling the pandemic should it be found in the state.
“We will not be relying on just having isolation centres. We hope to deploy techniques where people will be treated in hotels, and even at home. That was what China did and you see the result today,” Okpala said.