After third COVID-19 case, Ekiti to increase capacity of isolation center to 120 beds

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has announced plans by the state to increase the capacity of its isolation center from 10 to 120 bed space following the confirmation of the third case of COVID-19 in the state.

Fayemi revealed this while addressing the people of the state at the weekend after the confirmation of a third case of COVID-19 in the state.

"We are already working to increase the bed space of our isolation centre from 10 to 120 beds in case of an exponential outbreak, but our best form of defence against the deadly disease is still prevention," he said.

The State recorded its first confirmed case of Coronavirus on nday March 15, 2020 and he was treated and discharged on March 31. Barely 24 hours after the index case was discharged, the State recorded its second case who was also discharged on Tuesday, April 9, after testing negative. The State confirmed a third case at the weekend.

The new case is a pregnant 29-year-old Community Health Worker in Ikorodu Lagos State who, the Governor said, sneaked into Ekiti State overnight on Friday April, 10 "suspectedly to take advantage of our free maternal health care in spite of the lockdown."

Lagos and Ogun States, which are the routes the woman plied to Ekiti, have been placed on a lockdown by President Muhammadu Buhari since Monday March 31 and it remains unclear how the woman found her way to Ekiti where she tested positive for COVID-19 despite the lockdown and strict enforcement.

According to Fayemi, the lady was rushed to a Comprehensive Primary Healthcare facility after going into active labour on Monday April 13, 2020. After a prolonged labour with fatal distress, she was referred to a teaching hospital but decided to go to a private hospital instead where a caesarean section was performed on her and the baby was delivered safely.

"However, she suffered a cardiac arrest and was referred to the Federal Teaching Hospital Ido Ekiti where she is currently unconscious. The suspicion of COVID-19 infection and subsequent testing was at the Federal Tertiary institution," the governor said.

"The Ekiti State COVID-19 Taskforce has already commenced contact tracing of the new case as at this morning, we have over 30 primary contacts on our list already. The baby is alive and under surveillance while the private clinic has been sealed off and medical personnel who interacted with this case during her obstetrics and gynaecology emergency have been contacted and put in self isolation."

The governor blamed the laxity of security operatives instructed to enforce the no movement order as the cause of the third case

"The infidelity of our people and the security personnel enabled this patient to gain access to our state even during a boundary shut down, therefore putting the lives of so many people at risk, and putting Ekiti State under the dreaded possibility of community infection."

Fayemi said a further extension of the lockdown is being considered to ease the process of tracing possible direct and indirect contacts of the third case and placed in self-isolation.

To cushion the effect of the extended lockdown on the people of the state, Fayemi said "We have deployed and will continue to deploy relief materials to ease their pains. Food Bank Packs from the State Government and Conditional Cash Transfer from the Federal Government are some of the measures we are using to cushion the effect of the COVID 19 on our people."

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