The United States ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, has said the American government has dedicated more than $237 million to the COVID-19 response in Africa, with $48.9 million meant for supporting the efforts in Nigeria, declaring that the United State’s government stands together with Nigerians in fighting COVID-19.
According to the American ambassador, the upgrading of Emergency Operations Centers equipped to track and control the spread of the deadly COVID-19 in the eight states of Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Cross River, Edo, Niger, Oyo, Kano and Bayelsa was part of the show of support towards the efforts to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Leonard, who made this known in Yenagoa during the commissioning of the state-of-the-art facility which was constructed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with Bayelsa State government, said the Emergency Operation Center is expected to support centralised, real-time monitoring and predictive modeling for enhanced coordination of activities as well as informed decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies.
According to the US envoy, the facility will also serve citizen’s by facilitating seamless coordination and integration of the State government actions to both curb and contain the spread of the virus.
The EOC upgrade is in line with Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control (NCDC) priorities to further strengthen the COVID-19 response in Nigeria.
Accordingly, USAID has helped to expand the capacity of nine state Emergency Operation Centers, with the addition of digital situation and communication rooms”.
Earlier in his speech, the Bayelsa State governor, Senator Douye Diri, who was represented by the deputy governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, acknowledged the support of US government in the state, even as he commended the United State government over the upgrade of the Emergency Operations Centers equipped to track and control the spread of the deadly COVID-19 in the state.
According to Diri, who confirmed that within three months of the response, over two million people have been tested for COVID-19 in the state, out of which over 282 were found to be positive, stated that the state has mandated the ministry of information to launch behaviour change communication programmes to address myths, misconceptions and negative beliefs exhibited by some indigenes of the State about COVID-19.
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