From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt
The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, has assured that the Commission will intervene to protect the people of the Niger Delta region from the dreaded Coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
Prof Pondei, who spoke in an interview in Port Harcourt, Rivers State stated that as an interventionist agency, the Commission would collaborate with other stakeholders in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “We have started looking at different isolation centres in the nine states of the Niger Delta region. We are interacting with the governments to find out what is on ground and we are taking stock of the ventilators and oxygen in health facilities across the region.”
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The NDDC Chief Executive Officer observed that the treatment of the disease was not limited to drugs but included the ability to make sure that the patients were able to breathe properly and this should be done using ventilators.
Pondei said: “This morning we found that there are about 500 ventilators in the entire country. We are exploring avenues to see if we could intervene in providing ventilators. Similarly, oxygen is difficult to procure in the country.
‘The Federal Government through the Ministry of Health has a policy on oxygen which has not been disseminated very well. There are very few oxygen production plants in the country and some of the existing ones have actually broken down. But the provision of oxygen is key to the treatment.”