Efforts by the Delta State Government to increase testing of Covid-19 cases received a boost on Wednesday as Shell Development Company of Nigeria Limited donated a machine capable of conducting 1, 000 tests daily.
The company also donated an ambulance, suction machine and other critical items needed to make an isolation centre functional.
SPDC Managing Director and country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okumbor, made the donation to the state government in Asaba.
He stated that Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration had shown great commitment in the fight against Covid-19 in the state.
Okumbor, who was represented by Stakeholders Manager of the company, Mr Evans Krukrubo, said that Delta Government deserved support from SPDC, acknowledging that the company had also received a lot of support from the government and people of the state.
He stated that the government had showcased that “When you want to know what ease of doing business is, you have to come to Delta.
“The Excellency’s leadership of the state’s response to the spread of Covid-19 enables us to keep hope alive that we shall tame and overcome this challenge.
“The SPDC, in conjunction with our joint venture partners – NNPC, TEPN and NAOC – remain committed to supporting government’s efforts at managing the pandemic and recognise as a key gap, the absence of adequate testing capability globally and in Nigeria.
“We are today presenting the State with Covid-19 compatible PCR machine and extraction kits for 1, 000 tests as well as other critical equipment to operationalize the Covid-19 isolation centre.
“The PCR machine is approved by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to deliver Covid-19 molecular screening tests.
“We are also donating critical care hospital beds and mattresses, ICU-ambulance, defibrillation, suction machines, infra-red thermometers, respiratory nebulisers, hospital grade oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentration.
“Others are N95 face masks, nitrite procedure gloves, surgical face mask, gum boots, disposable high-tech overall, DuPont Tychem 2000, goggle and face shields and hand sanitizer,” Okumbor said.
A representative of NNPC at the event, Mr Simon Obasi, stated that the donation was to cushion the effects of combating Covid-19 on the state government.
Receiving the equipment, Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chiedu Ebie, thanked the donors for complementing government’s efforts in the fight against the pandemic.
He said that Okowa’s administration had shown great commitment to curbing Covid-19, noting that while great efforts were made to provide adequate care for the victims, measures were also put in place to check the spread of the virus.
He said, “These are very tough times for everybody and one thing that I can assure you here in Delta is that from the very beginning, we took Covid-19 very seriously.
“The governor chairs the committee and we meet periodically to review our activities, and we have tried as much as possible to make available facilities for the treatment and management of Covid-19 patients.
“We are committed to providing the right kind of care for those that have the virus and this PCR machine will enable us to increase testing; we will deploy this immediately as it means that we will be doing more testing.
“We will be more aggressive in our contact-tracing, to treat those who are infected.”