The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),South-South Zone has appealed to the Federal Government to create centres for health workers in the zone in readiness to response to suspected cases of corona-virus.
Mr Walson Brandon, the NEMA South-South Zonal Coordinator made the appeal in a briefing with newsmen on the activities and preparedness of the agency to reduce the impact posed by disaster and emergency situations in Port Harcourt.
Brandon said that creation of these test centres in the zone, which comprises of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross River states, would save persons affected with the virus from getting worse before the result was out due to distance of the test centres.
He said that the agency was collaborating with ministries of health and information in the respective states to step up preparedness and response to activities in the zone.
“The agency is also collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to provide essential medical supplies to states in the South-South Zone.
“In Rivers, test kits and ventilators are urgently needed by health workers to rightly respond to COVID-19 with urgency and purpose.
“I urged the public to call the emergency number 112 at any point of distress; and so far no case of COVID-19 has been identified in the South-South Zone.’’
“We also urge people to obey necessary measures put in place by government to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the zone and the country at large,” he said.
Brandon said that NEMA had carried out some activities in the zone to relieve the victims of 2019 flood, pipeline explosion, landslide and communal conflict ravaged communities across the zone in the past six months.
He said that the agency had provided relief materials such as bags of rice, beans, garri, vegetable oil, mattresses, blankets, bags of cement, roofing sheets and ceiling boards to communities in Obio-Akpor, Oyigbo and Khana Local Government Areas of Rivers.
“Relief materials were also provided to communities across Akwa-Ibom and Cross River states, which were ravaged by flood and communal conflict during the period.’’
Brandon said that the agency in collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Environment and Special Duties, had intensified readiness to tackle flooding during the 2020 rainfall as predicted by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
He said that they included mapping out of flood prone local government areas and sensitization programme to the prone communities in the zone.