The private sector led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has donated fully equipped isolation centres and medical equipment running into several millions of naira to the Ondo and Kwara state governments.
The donation was in response to plea by state governors and to strengthen the partnership with governments at all levels to help contain the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The group, which comprises leading private sector operators, had earlier donated similar items to the governments of Rivers and Enugu states, apart from the distribution of food palliatives, which the coalition commenced in Lagos last week.
CACOVID, while handing over a 100-bedspace isolation centre and medical items in Ilorin, Kwara State, said its efforts were meant to complement the Federal Government’s action against the spread, and to end the pandemic in Nigeria.
Some of the state governors had cried out for help to fight the ravaging virus.
Speaking at the handing over ceremonies to the Kwara State Government, the spokesperson of CACOVID, Mrs. Grace Olagunju, said the gesture was to support the government to successfully fight the virus in the state.
She said; “As you are aware, as a result of the pandemic that is ravaging the world and the country, CACOVID – a coalition of private sector organisations – felt the need to join hands together with various governments and agencies, and with Kwara being one of the active governments, we found it worthy to make our own contributions such that the state can be able to fight the war and win.
“Of course, our interest is in health and lives of the citizens of every state; we felt as responsible corporate organisations we should do this to support the state government.”
She nevertheless canvassed for the support and understanding of all and sundry in the state to play their roles to enable the government win the battle against the ravaging pandemic, and added that “the fight is for everyone; so everyone should play our roles to kick the virus far away from Kwara.”
The representative of Kwara State Government, Chairman Medical Advisory Committee of COVID-19 Technical Committee in the state, Dr. Femi Oladiji, commended CACOVID for the gesture, stressing that it would help the state government in its efforts to successfully fight the pandemic.
“On behalf of my principal, the Kwara State Governor is very delighted for this landmark support from CACOVID; it would surely go a long way to support us in our various efforts to fight the pandemic. They would be very useful for us,” he said.
In Akure, the Ondo state capital, the Coalition donated medical equipment and beddings to Ondo State Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), where 10 patients are currently undergoing treatment and three suspected persons are being isolated.
The Head of Ondo state COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Busari Ismail, disclosed that though the three suspected cases had tested negative, they would still need to run another test before they could be discharged if found negative.
Representative of CACOVID in the state, Mr. Akinbode Akinola, in his remarks, revealed that the group donated 100 beds, 100 mattresses and other bedding accessories to the IDH, some of which are already in use in the wards.
He conducted journalists round the facilities where some of the beds and accessories were installed. In the Ward, there were bed monitors, sphygmomanometers and pulse oximeters.
According to Akinola, the coalition donated 25 sphygmomanometers, 25 oximeters used to measure the pulse of the patients, and five sets of bed monitors. He explained that the donations became necessary considering the rate at which the coronavirus was spreading and claiming people’s lives.
Akinola noted that governments could not handle the issue alone; hence the support by the Coalition. According to him, the items donated were meant to help in the treatment of the confirmed and suspected patients so that people won’t die due to lack of or insufficient equipment at the IDH.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, appreciated the coalition’s gestures and urged corporate organisations and philanthropists to join the government in fighting COVID-19.
The state governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Olugbenga Ale, thanked the coalition and promised that all the items donated would be judiciously used.
He said: “This gesture will linger in our heart in Ondo State for coming to help us at this critical time.”
He noted that the state government would not relent in its efforts in seeking assistance from corporate organisations and private individuals to fight the dreadful virus.
The governor then charged the people of the state to adhere strictly to all the precautionary measures being handed down by government to check the spread of COVID-19, while emphasising that maintaining social distancing, stay-at-home, hand washing and use of face mask are potent measures to check the spread of the virus.