By: Achiane Adams, CRS-MOI Officer reporting from Calabar

The Chief Medical Director, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, (UCTH) Prof. Ikpeme Ikpeme, has said that the COVID-19 Isolation Center at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, can be expanded to a twenty-bed facility to accommodate patients should the need arise, while he led pressmen on a tour of the facility which coincided with his first anniversary in office as the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital.

Prof. Ikpeme said " the four-bedroom Isolation Center is prepared to take a small number of patients but it can be overwhelmed if there is a large number of cases. It is just five beds, two ventilators and a handful of staff, which the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has approved for now. The center needs more than that. Although, there is no recorded case but we should be prepared".

Emphasizing on the challenges facing the isolation facility, the CMD said since the center was originally for the purpose of tropical infectious diseases, it needs upgrades such as more ventilators, power, a testing center, consumables and perimeter fencing.

Prof. Ikpeme also pointed out that the hospital has been able to produce hand sanitizers and other Personal Protective Equipment to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking further on the suspected case that was reported on social media platforms some weeks back, Prof. Ikpeme thanked the State Government,  and the Hospital's Covid-19 Response Task Force for swinging into action when the emergency came up by taking samples for testing which fortunately, the results came back negative and the suspected patient after the recommended period of quarantine and careful observation was discharged.

Highlighting some successes of his first year in office, such as a proactive administration, improved power supply, better security, a functional commercial hub and a new carpark that is undergoing construction, Prof. Ikpeme acknowledged the support he has received from the hospital's governing body, management and Staff.

He thanked members of the Press for deeming it right to visit the Center in order to report the right thing.

Top Management staff such as the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, Prof. Ogbu Ngim, his Deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Effah and the Director of Administration, Barr. Ededet Eyoma, were also present for the facility tour.

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