Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has refurbished the state’s oxygen plant to boost treatment of people that may test positive to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at brief handover ceremony of the facility on Friday in Ilorin, AbdulRazaq said the revamped facility would bolster the state capabilities to manage COVID-19 patients who might require ventilators for a lifeline.
The plant had become moribund for over nine years until it was revamped by the governor.
Kwara currently has two COVID-19 cases; both of whom are asymptomatic at the moment receiving treatment at the Response Center in Sobi Specialist Hospital.
“This facility comes handy at this time. If for whatever reason any of our patients require oxygen, Kwara does not need to buy oxygen from any private sources or other states.
“In fact, the plant’s capacity is such that we can sell to private hospitals and some other states.
“Yesterday, we supported the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) with 13 small cylinders and one big cylinder of oxygen,” AbdulRazaq said.
The governor commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for helping the state to recover looted funds which had become useful in the campaign against COVID-19.
AbdulRazaq said the recovered funds strengthened Kwara’s ability to put in place necessary facilities, among other counter-COVID-19 efforts.
“We have bought five new ambulances (three on the ground and two are on the way).
“We have 10 ventilators now and we expect to have 30 by the end of the month and that’s one of the highest in the country today.
“We now have a mobile x-ray machine too,” the governor added.
The governor said the recovered loot became useful in the face of dwindling allocations arising from the global oil crisis.
He said the government had turned around the Sobi Specialist Hospital which is now the COVID-19 response center of the state.
The governor said the administration was working on having an isolation centre in Offa after which another would be created in General Hospital, Kaiama.
According to Ben Babatunde, the plant manager, the oxygen now has 93 per cent purity level and can fill 24 (7mm) oxygen cylinders in one day.
He said the facility had only worked for 56,156 hours (six years four months) cumulatively since it was established in 2004.