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The Edo State Government has screened over 40,000 persons in the state for coronavirus (COVID-19), leveraging a strategic partnership with private hospitals, clinics and pharmacies, which complement the screening exercise ongoing across designated government hospitals.

The governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday stated.

According to him, the state government has adopted a robust and scientific approach to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic since its outbreak, embarking on massive screening and testing of residents as a strategy to get a clearer picture of the spread of the pandemic in the state.

He noted that the screenings are conducted in designated Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the state’s 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs); mobile post screening centres that move across the 192 wards, as well as private medical facilities.

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Speaking on efforts to ensure that more persons are screened and tested in the state, the governor said, “We have made tremendous progress, especially in the areas of screening, testing and improved awareness of our citizens. Working closely with private hospitals, clinics and pharmacies, we have been able to screen over 40,000 and tested over 350 persons.

“Our improved efforts at screening and testing is the reason why the number of cases is rising. As we aggressively push to screen our minimum target of 500,000 people and test 15,000 individuals in the next few weeks, we may record an astronomic rise in the number of cases.

“We advise everyone to get screened at the numerous screening centres across the state. Our screening centres also offer free medical check-up, free multivitamins and facemasks. I am confident that we can beat this virus in Edo State if we take the necessary precautionary measures,” the statement quoted him as saying.

He said evidence from its epidemiologists suggest that COVID-19 cases will continue to rise until it peaks late in June, noting, “We can reduce the spread of the virus by enforcing existing social distancing rules, maintaining good hand washing hygiene and wearing masks in public places. This evidence has undoubtedly informed the decision by the Federal Government to impose a nationwide curfew.”

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