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COVID-19: Plateau community kick against citing quarantine centre in residential area

By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos

Residents of Heipang Community of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State under the Coalition of Concerned Health Professionals, the Berom Youth Moulder-Association (BYM) and Development Associations have kicked against the conversion of Godiya Tourists Resort Hotel as a quarantine centre for COVID-19 by the State Government.

The Group in a communique read by Da. David Bot at the end of a one day workshop on Risk Communication and Community safety measures against COVID-19 pandemic, decried the location of the aforementioned centre within a residential area.

The workshop which was organized by concerned health professionals incollaboration with Berom Youth Moulders-Association, insisted that the action is against World Health Organisation’s guidelines for the establishment of such a facility.

The Group said the community is concern that weeks ago, “the Plateau State government established a quarantine centre at Godiya Tourists Resort which is within a residential area, without the knowledge of leaders and members of the community, inview of the inherent risk the facility poses to residents of the area.

According to the Group, “WHO guidelines for establishing a quarantine centre clearly indicates amongst others that the facility be sited in a location at the outskirt of the town and must be far from residential homes and crowded places.

The Group added that, “the guidelines also stipulates that the facility should be close to a tertiary health facility for easy commuting of quarantine clients who might develop symptoms within the period.

“As a community, we wondered why government disregarded these guidelines in view of the highly contagious nature of COVID-19.

The community further lamented that “innocent and untrained workers” in the hotel who live within the community still render services as against international best practices which states that stewards should be withdrawn once the hotel is leased out for this purpose and professionals be engaged.

They further disclosed that, a visit to the facility by the community revealed that the centre lacks “biomedical waste management infrastructure and its internal operations leave much to be desired with regards to public/community health”.

The Group also revealed that the community was shocked to meet a lady of about 20 years carrying waste and disposable plates which quarantine subjects have used within the compound in a mesh basket as against leak-proof red, black or yellow containers as stipulated by WHO.

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