COVID 19: Borno readies Lassa Fever isolation facility

Borno State has designated the Lassa Fever isolation centre to handle patients of coronavirus (COVID 19) should there be an outbreak of the epidemic disease in the state.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Salisu Kwaya-Bura disclosed weekend in Maiduguri while giving an update on the preparation of the state to tackle possible outbreak of coronavirus at a dinner for African Review Committee on polio, that the state has reacted the 20-beds isolation centre initially designated for Lassa Fever patients.

“Using the same facility at the isolation center has been mapped out for the management of an outbreak. That center is a 20 bedded facility at the moment. We have identified the staff that is already trained in terms of emergency preparedness and management,” he disclosed.

He said the state has trained some of its medical personnel on management of coronavirus and supoorted by the World Health Orgabisation (WHO). He assured the state was well-positioned to handle coronavirus should there be any outbreak having garnered experiences from the management of Lassa Fever.

“Suffices to say that should we have an outbreak, we are ready because in terms of the management of the patient of COVID19 so far from what we have seen beyond isolation the key is infection prevention and control mechanism and the use of barriers people are comfortable with,” he said.

Meanwhile, a team from the African Region Certification Commission (ARCC) on Polio Eradication said Nigeria may be certify free of polio in June during a review of the disease situation in four African countries.

“We hope we will be able to accept the certification in June when we meet in Abuja for the review of documentations from South Sudan, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Cameroon and Nigeria. We look forward to receiving the final documentation,” leader of the team, Dr Arlene King told The Sun.

She said the ARCC was the only body that can certify any African country that claimed it was free from polio.

She lauded what she called important innovations by Borno State polio team especially on polio survellaince and immunizations in potentially inaccessible areas and hard-to-reach population of people in a state battling with over a decade of Boko Haram violence.

Nigeria’s efforts to get a clean bill of polio free nation was halted in 2016 following two reported cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno State.

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