Akwa Ibom State commissioner for works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-eyen, has said that the state’s 300-bed isolation centre, which is still under construction, is a project that would remain relevant even after the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The commissioner, while in a chat with some pressmen, was reacting to criticism that the project, which is located in Ituk Mbang, Uruan local government area of the state, is a waste of the state government’s funds since the pandemic will not stay forever.
However, Inyang-enyen explained that even when the Covid-19 pandemic is no more, the facility could be used for other health concerns, pending if another infectious disease breaks out.
“This facility is government’s effort at tackling the deadly coronavirus pandemic and should be appreciated by all. Even if there is no more covid-19, the place can be turned into a normal hospital and if there’s another break out of any disease, we convert it back to an isolation centre. This facility is for the future; it will serve it’s purpose for a very long time,” Inyang noted.
Also reacting to notions that the state government should have settled for a temporary structure, the commissioner argued that the isolation facility costs the government far less than makeshift tents would.
Inyang-eyen, who maintained that the safety of medical practitioners is paramount to the state government, said that the facility is constructed in a manner that it would make it difficult for any health worker to contract covid-19 from patients.
“If we had gone for a temporary tent, which would have been rented, government would have spent a huge amount of money. What government has spent in constructing this facility is far less than what it would in renting tents for as long as the pandemic will last.
“The government takes the safety of doctors and other health workers very seriously, that is why this facility is constructed in a complex manner that makes it almost impossible for a health worker to contract the disease from patients. If the rules are strictly followed, no health worker will be exposed to the risk of contract the deadly coronavirus,” he said.
The commissioner regretted that the rains have slowed down the pace of work at the site, but assured that the project would soon be completed.
He said; “everything needed to complete this facility is on ground. If not for the rains these few days, we would have gone farther than we have now. However, the project will be completed in no time for use.”