Zamfara launches largest zero-contact testing centre for COVID-19 in Nigeria

The governor of Zamfara State, Bello Mohammed Matawalle has launched the largest zero-contact testing centre for COVID-19 in Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement on Wednesday by Yusuf Idris Gusau, Director General Media, Public Enlightenment and Communication, Zamfara State Government House, Gusau.

According to the statement, Governor Matawalle said the centre was launched to ensure a significant increase in the testing capacity of COVID-19 in the state as well as to protect health workers who remained on the front line in the fight against the virus.

The statement further quoted the governor to have said that the new state of the art facilities was built as part of his government efforts to free the state of the dreaded pandemic.

The initiative, he said would help improve the testing capacity of the virus in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) recommendations in order to regularly test and isolate COVID – 19 patients in the state and its neighbours.

He said, “With the 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 collected samples because the booth can be deployed in border towns and remote areas.”

He went further to say that in post-COVID–19 that the sample collection booths could 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 added, “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/decontamination machines, disinfection tunnels, sample collection Booths, etc.”

“This will make it fit for the NCDC to comfortably set-up multiple molecular laboratories, a situation which will make the state have one of the best COVID-19 recovery statistics in the country.”

The governor lamented what he described as several years of palpable neglect of the health and other sectors in the state.

He, however, expressed joy that his administration had been making a concerted effort to address the ugly situation.

He listed what the government had been able to put in place to include the provision and upgrading of the health institutions; procurement of ambulances in all the 17 general hospitals in the state; construction of 147 comprehensive healthcare facilities across all the 147 wards; procurement of 147 tricycles to all the 147 comprehensive healthcare centers; the revival of state drug revolving programmes amongst others.

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