Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has converted an 80-bed mother and child referral hospital built by Chevron Nigeria Limited to a temporary isolation centre in the fight against COVID-19.
Supreme gathered that Mr Mathew Sele-Epri, the Chairman KEFFES Rural Development Foundation KRDF), had earlier handed over the facility to the governor on behalf of Chevron at a brief ceremony.
KEFFES is the acronym for Koluama 1 and 2, Ezetu 1 and 2, Foropa, Fishtown, Ekeni and Sangana communities in Southern Ijaw and Brass LGAs in Bayelsa hosts to Chevron operations.
Chevron had earlier supported the eight communities with 1,600 bags of garri to cushion the effects of the lockdown imposed to check the spread of the COVID-19.
Diri announced the conversion on Thursday at the official handing over of the facility sited within the premises of the Bayelsa State Medical University in Yenagoa.
The governor said that the conversion was aimed at tackling the Coronavirus pandemic threatening the lives of everyone and not an attempt to deny the people of the state of other health services.
He said that with initial provision of the isolation wards at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital to combat the virus and the new addition, the state was ready to tackle the pandemic in the event of any index case.
He urged residents to strictly comply with all protocols issued by the World Health Organisation as well as government’s directives geared toward preventing the spread of the virus into the state.
The governor also directed the Bayelsa Vigilante and the Bayelsa Volunteers to join the security operatives at the boundary points with Delta and Rivers states to reinforce the government’s lockdown directives.
Yesterday in our Governors Forum meeting, we agreed to enforce and reinforce the lockdown of movement between states. Therefore, interstate movement is restricted in and out of the state.
Nobody comes into and nobody goes out of Bayelsa for the next two weeks. I, therefore, direct security agencies to enforce this directive just as I again appeal to our citizens to obey and respect the directive, Diri said.
Diri expressed optimism that with the cooperation of everyone, the virus had no place in Bayelsa coupled with the round-the-clock effort of the State Taskforce on COVID-19.
The governor, who expressed satisfaction with the quality of equipment in the facility donated by Chevron and its partners, said it was a worthy example of good corporate social responsibility.