The Ekiti State Government said on Friday that it has concluded arrangements to open its own COVID-19 testing laboratories in the next one week.
When in place, the laboratories would serve as places where suspected Coronavirus infected patients could be tested without having to wait for higher authorities any longer.
This is coming just as the government ordered compulsory COVID-19 tests for those entering the state illegally through the boundaries, despite a total lockdown.
The state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Mojisola Yahaya-Kolade, at COVID-19 update media briefing, in Ado Ekiti, said the planned facility would increase the capacity for more tests.
According to her, the facility is to be provided by Governor Kayode Fayemi in partnership with well-meaning Ekiti indigenes and other private sponsors who had offered to help.
She said that the state was still the Federal Government to redeem her promise to establish such a laboratory in Ekiti.
“The governor then reached out to well-meaning Ekiti indigenes and friends to provide a facility that will boost our testing capacity.
“We are very optimistic that the testing kits, reagents and other materials to be used will arrive Ekiti next week,” she said.
Yaya-Kolade, who said that the state presently has seven patients on admission, added that some of them had turned negative, but still awaiting second tests before they could be discharged.
“All of them are also stable. We are still tracing about eleven others who had contacts with the patients in isolation,” the commissioner said.
She said that some people who came into the state illegally and those who are manifesting signs, had been picked, and are being quarantined while their blood samples are being taken on daily basis.
Yaya-Kolade said the state government is determined to ensure that the state records no death again, adding that testing capability is still going to be increased with the arrival of a test laboratory.
She, however, debunked claims that burial had been banned in the state, explaining such can be done with proper approval from the state government, and with moderate crowd of sympathisers.
“Burial can be done in Ekiti, but this is upon getting approval and it has to be done in compliance with social distancing directive and with such gathering, not more than 20 people are expected,” she said.
Also speaking at the briefing, member of the State Response Team, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, said government had enlisted the services and support of drivers and community associations for increased vigilance on those illegally entering the state.
Aluko, who who is also the Director-General, Office of Transformation and Strategic Delivery, said apart from security agencies, the government is getting information from communities so that those sneaking into the state could be apprehended.
“I can assure you those caught are being profiled and made to face the Magistrate, among other consequences,” he said.
Aluko, however, appealed to whoever wants to help the people with palliatives to distribute it in a manner that is dignifying and in tandem with the laid down rules.
“We don’t want a situation whereby our people will be milling around and scampering for food, because they can further spread the disease through this action,” he said.
On his part, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Gbenga Agbeyo, applauded the level of enforcement of compulsory use of face masks by residents and compliance with other directives.