National Sports Festival: Edo to screen athletes, expand medical team

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Deputy Governor Comrade Phillip Shaibu and other stakeholders at the press briefing

FIC Report (Edo State) – Edo State government has said it is deploying 150 medical personnel to offer essential medical services and other measures to ward off the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak during the  National Sports Festival (NSF) slated to kick off on Sun, 22nd March, 2020 in Benin City.

The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Comrade Phillip Shaibu, in his capacity as the Chairman, Local Organizing Committee (LOC, NAFEST 2020),  said this during a press conference at the Secretariat for the National Sports Festival, in Government House, Benin City.

Comrade  Shaibu noted that the state government has procured  five scanners and Infrared thermometers to be stationed at the stadiums and the Benin Airport to check for high body temperature of athletes and spectators during the games.

He further stressed that the contingents will be screened as they arrive in Edo, before they have access into the city and the games village where they will be accommodated, adding that there will be daily screening for all the athletes and officials before every game.

While noting that there are two isolation wards put in place for eventualities, Comrade Shaibu further pointed out that discussion was ongoing with the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, and the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) on whether to allow foreign athletes to participate in the games.

In his response, the Chairman, Medical Sub-Committee of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Prof. Darlington Obaseki, said as part of preparedness for the Edo 2020 NSF, 150 medical personnel including orthopedic surgeons, anesthetists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, 45 paramedics, nurses and other auxiliary staff are ready to provide medical services.

Prof Obaseki who is the Chief Medical Director, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), added that comprehensive medical centres would be mounted at the games’ village, the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium as well as accommodation halls for athletes and coaches.

He also said 30 mobile medical units had been constituted and would be stationed at the different sporting arenas, which will be supported with 10 ambulances with effective communication system to go around the different game centres.

Prof Obaseki said “to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), there will be continuous health awareness on the need to always wash hands with soap and water, and promote the use of hand sanitizers that would be provided at the game venues and accommodation centres.”

Also speaking, the representative of the Chief Medical Director of Irrua Special Teaching Hospital, Prof. Danny Asogun said test kits are available at the hospital to test samples for coronavirus and give results within 8 hours

F.O Imuetinyan
F.I. C.Benin