Contrary to a recent report that Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde is yet to provide any financial support to the University College Hospital, (UCH), Ibadan in the fight against COVID-19, it is pertinent to let the people know the truth and clear the air.
A source close to the government revealed to Pacesettersonline that “Oyo State Government, in setting the ball rolling in its partnership with UCH in waging war against COVID-19 in the state, had facilitated the setting up of the COVID-19 Diagnostic Centre at the Virology Dept of UCH.”
Speaking further, the source said that Governor Makinde personally made a commitment to that effect and he supervised the establishment of the laboratory within 72 hours of the first press conference by the state COVID 19 Task Force.
The source further claimed that Oyo State has been picking the bills for Reagents and PPEs in use at the laboratory on a daily basis, adding that “the state government also made direct procurements for these equipment and secured waivers from the federal government for the Cargo planes that conveyed them to land in Nigeria.”
Condemning the report further, the source regarded the report in the media as a means to paint the government of the day in bad light.
“Adding further that the story should have confirmed from the appropriate sources and not naysayers who want to stain the efforts of the state government.
“Insinuations in that story is fueled by the enmity between the current management of the hospital and a former Chief Medical Director CMD of the hospital, Prof Temitope Alonge, who was chosen by Governor Makinde as a member of the Oyo State Task Force and the coordinator of Oyo State Isolation Centres,” the source revealed.
The source, however, appealed to workers in the hospital, who should, on every account, always uphold Hippocratic Oath, not to whip up sentiments in the fight against the novel virus but rather remain humane, professional responsible to their duties.
“Our advice to the naysayers of UCH is that they should separate their hatred of Prof. Alonge from the clearly pressing need to tackle an epidemic that has taken the world by storm.
“It is irresponsible, inhuman and perennially unprofessional for anyone, especially whoever is linked to the health sector, to attempt to play departmental politics or sentiments in the face of clear danger to the world,” the source said.
Further lending his voice to an allegation of responsibility to the college hospital, the source explained that the responsibility of the college does not lie on the shoulder of the state government but the federal government, saying that “anything OYSG does is just by way of good neighborliness not as responsibility.”
The publication, which also claimed that only four people tested positive among the staff of the hospital, prior to Governor Makinde’s announcement that 44% of the COVID-19 cases in Oyo State is from UCH, has been refuted, which to the source, clearly shows that the media outfit fails to verify statistics of COVID-19 data in Oyo state.
In the words of the source: “The fact that 45% of Oyo ‘s COVID-19 cases are linked to UCH, cannot be doubted as at the time Governor Makinde mentioned that fact, seven out of 16 cases in Oyo State were linked to UCH alone and the Gov made that comment in trying to map the behaviour of the virus in the state in his quest for solutions.
The fictitious story also claimed that the State government erroneously announced a UCH doctor as a positive case was the height of ignorance but the source said: “the statistics on COVID-19 is daily prepared by NCDC in collaboration with all the 13 Laboratories across the country.”
“The fact is, any figure released by the state is only an echo of records of the NCDC and the Laboratories,” the source added.
Reacting on the issue of tax payment to the state government, the source said: “That UCH pays taxes to Oyo state is not an issue because that’s the unbeatable responsibility of any corporate citizen, even though the figures released in the story is subject to further questions.
“Maybe the writer forgot that UCH is owned by the federal government and not the state, whatever the state government give to the Hospital, it should be seen as an act of generosity. The writer just needed to be informed.”