The Bayelsa State COVID-19 Task Force said on Monday it sent 140 samples of blood for testing at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, between March and April 20.
Out of the 140 samples of blood, 137 tested turned out negative while three were rejected by the specialist health facility, which is an approved testing centre by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Chairman of the state’s task force, Dr Inodu Apoku, disclosed this during a press conference in Yenagoa on Monday.
Apoku, who is also the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, further said that over 2,000 persons had so far been screened at the various entry points and “none has so far presented with any significant symptoms of concern.”
He said surveillance had been mounted around the local government areas of the state.
According to him, the state government was also working to set up a COVID-19 reference laboratory in the state.
On the state’s preparedness, he said, “Currently, the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital has a ready-to-use six-bed isolation facility. However, they have earmarked some additional wards that can be converted to isolation facility if the need arises. These additional facilities can accommodate another 100 bed isolation capabilities.
“The Federal Medical Centre in Yenagoa has also established a 22-bed isolation facility, while the state government has also identified a facility within Bayelsa Medical University to be used as isolation facility; it can accommodate 100 beds.
“We have trained patent medicine vendors and community pharmacists on case finding/surveillance, as well as volunteers in all villages for active search for persons with symptoms of coronavirus.”