Nasarawa is among states without a ventilator to help in the fight against coronavirus pandemic, but the state governor, Abdullahi Sule has bought 24 Toyota Hilux vehicles for state lawmakers, estimated at nearly N500 million. There are 169 ventilators nationwide spread across only 16 states, Daily Trust exclusively reported last week.

On Thursday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 407, with 128 patients discharged after treatment and 12 deaths reported. Speaker of Nasarawa House of Assembly, Ibrahim Abdullahi, on Monday stated that Abdullahi gave the 24 Toyota Hilux to the lawmakers as official vehicles.

Toyota Hilux
Toyota Hilux

At an average cost of N21m per car, they are worth a combined total of N504m. Some Medical and Health Workers in the state on Thursday protested non-payment of their March salary by Doma local government. They threatened to embark on industrial action from Friday if they are not paid. Cost of ventilator Findings reveals that a hospital-grade ventilator cost between $25,000 (N9.175m) and $50,000 (N18.350 m), using the Central Bank’s official exchange rate of N367 for a dollar. A ventilator is a machine that provides mechanical ventilation by moving breathable air into and out of the lungs, to deliver breaths to a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently. A respiratory expert who craved anonymity said Nigeria requires about 10,000 respirators for emergencies over the ongoing pandemic.

Most of the ventilators already present in the country are in tertiary hospitals—federal medical centres and teaching hospital, he noted. He said ventilators were very important equipment, not only being used for supportive care of COVID-19 patients, but other respiratory illnesses, adding that it was important for all hospitals to have them.

Nasawara has not reported any confirmed case of COVID-19 but it shares boundaries with Kaduna, Abuja, Kogi, Benue, and Taraba. Abuja, Kaduna, and Benue have 58, six and one confirmed cases respectively.

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