The Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Dr Hephzibah Oladebeye, has said that the institution has enough manpower and facilities for it to be designated as a COVID-19 testing and treatment centre.
Oladebeye made the call while showcasing the institution’s innovative contributions towards the quick curtailment of the deadly virus in the state.
He called on both the state government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to recognise and enlist the institution as a testing and treatment centre in their efforts at halting the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
According to him, the polytechnic has recently procured a polymerate chain reaction (PCR) machine through the grants provided for some lecturers, saying the machine could rapidly test the COVID-19 status of individuals.
“The machine, which was acquired for the purpose of DNA and RNA analyses, was later discovered to be effective in testing COVID-19 status of individuals.
“During the lockdown, our researchers here didn’t rest. We used the lockdown period for innovative activities. We manufactured all these to help our country.
“The PCR machine doesn’t have accessories. So we are pleading with the state government to help us so that it can be put to use in order to save the state.
“The PCR can test a large number of people in a day.
“Apart from this, we have a massive health centre which we can easily convert into an isolation centre, if the government is ready to partner with us,” he said.
The rector listed some of the COVID-19 containment facilities manufactured by the institution to include face masks, hand sanitiser, pedal-operated hand washing and sanitising machine.
Others, according to him, are automatic solar-powered hand washing machine with dryer as well as non-contact infra-red body temperature measurement thermometer.
Oladebeye stated that the facilities provided would, in no small measure, aid quick reopening of the institution when the Federal Government eventually directed tertiary institutions to reopen.
He appealed to members of the public, private organisations and governments at all levels for patronage so that all the facilities put in place could be explored to increase economic viability of the institution.
“We are ready to manufacture more equipment and sell to interested state government, corporate organisations and individuals.
“Some of them can be put in public places for the safety of our citizens,” he added.
Oladebeye expressed the institution’s readiness and preparedness to reopen for academic sessions whenever such directive was given.
“We are ready to reopen as soon as the directive is given. The most critical safety facility requested of us is the isolation centre, which we can conveniently provide.
“As far as the precautionary measures are concerned, we have enough safety facilities that we can use,” he said.
Oladebeye commended Gov. Kayode Fayemi for his efforts at making the state safe from the pandemic, especially the fumigation of all institutions in the state, including the polytechnic.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin and (NAN)
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