Last week, in a bid to score cheap political goals, give false hopes and further endanger the lives of Edo State people, the Obaseki administration announced that it has purchased 28 ventilators and the converted the Stella Obasanjo Hospital into an Isolation Centre.
But when this newspaper went to town to investigate the veracity of the claims, we discovered that the Obaseki administration lied about both the fact and the costs of the so-called ventilators.
Contrary to the huff-puff public claims of Governor Godwin Obaseki, that the administration has 28 ventilators purchased and ready in the state, what exists, in reality, is that they bought Anastasia machine and not really ventilators.
According to an Anastasia consultant in UBTH who craved anonymity, he said that “it is true that Anastasia machine may offer respiratory functions like a ventilator but cannot be used for more than 24 hours. Due to the fact that Corona Virus infection takes a longer time to treat, and patients are kept for many days, even weeks, and some patients needing ventilators may be there for many days, an Anastasia machine is not appropriate. You need ventilators. What Edo State government bought isn’t ventilator but anastasia machine.”
Information from other credible sources on ground at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital has confirmed that, watching the video online which the government released in the hope of making Edo people believe that they actually bought ventilators, the government of Godwin Obaseki did not purchase any ventilator as publicly claimed. What was bought, instead, were Anesthesia Machines.
Worsening the situation, deeper investigation has shown that those machines, which the Commissioner fit Health publicly stated to cost 14 million naira each, in reality, costs slightly above 1 million naira but below 2 million naira.
For security reasons, these concerned UBTH and ISTH sources pleaded anonymity but their brave revelation points the distressed people of Edo to the real faces of our collective persecutors and traitors.
As if lacking all sense of decency and responsibility, this administration chooses this perilous time of existential crisis to endanger their people, enrich their pockets and defraud the people of Edo State.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Medial Association, Edo State has faulted Obaseki’s preparedness in tackling the Corona Virus epidemic in Edo State.
In a letter from the Association, addressed to the Executive Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, and signed by Dr. Omoifo Valentine, the body has made their displeasure known to both the public and to the government.
The medical body cited key points that informed their dissatisfaction: the failure to close the state borders as already done by other states, the failure to properly enforce the social distancing measure, a failure to provide sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to doctors and other frontline medical staff, and the non-functionality of the isolation center at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital. These factors, the body duly noted, thwarts the efforts of the state’s medical chapter in combating the deadly virus.
Other concern raised by the body includes the suggestion to provide incentives for medical staff and other frontline officers in order to motivate them in the battle against the virus. This could come in the form of increased allowances and possible tax reliefs. The body equally stirred a simmering concern: a wide-ranging insurance policy that will cover the medical workers and their families. Also, the body noted the state government’s effort to train healthcare personnel across the state but equally expressed their disappointment in the state’s inability to provide for the camping team at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH).
The body pointed out at the sparse and stingy flow of information, stressing that such will inhibit swift response and optimum performance by medical workers. Ultimately, the body reassured their readiness to work to the best of their ability and fortitude as they combat the coronavirus.
However, despite ending on a hopeful note, the issues raised by the body gave serious cause for concern. It revealed the general demotivating approach of the government to the pandemic. The whole plot reeks of indifference, unreadiness, and total aloofness. Yet, Edo State, by witnessing its index case a bit later than the flashpoints states of Lagos and Abuja, had the ample opportunity to study, learn, and understand effective measures and methods employed by these states. Unfortunately, it appears like nothing was learnt.