The Nigerian Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello says his administration may impose tougher measures to achieve health safety precautionary protocols needed to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Abuja.
Bello who expressed displeasure over flagrant violation of the lockdown order at the rural areas within the territory, said that the administration would not allow few individuals to carelessly put the larger population at jeopardy.
The Minister disclosed this during an inspection tour of facilities at Asokoro District Hospital already converted to COVID-19 Isolation and treatment centre.
Bello had inspected an already furnished 300 bed facility at Idu District, designated as Isolation Centre for COVID 19 patients.
On the on going rehabilitation works at Karu District Hospital, also meant for COVID 19 patients’ accommodation, the Minister said; ”he was satisfied with both the private sector partnership and government’s preparedness to combat the dreaded disease.”
According to him, ”the Idu centre is a 300 bed facility but can be expanded to 500 beds.”
Bello noted that 150 beds were already installed through the partnership of Polaris Bank, FATE Foundation and more 300 beds coming from Julius Berger PLC.
“Polaris Bank donated 100 beds, 50 beds were donated by FATE Foundation, they also provided personal protective materials for health workers. Another 300 beds are coming from Julius Berger PLC. This partnership was made possible through the Ministerial Advisory Committee headed by the former minister of FCT, Dr. Modibo Umaru.
“The Idu isolation centre is a reflection of what partnership can do, the partnership is between the government, private sector and one of the stakeholders in Abuja, the Chinese Construction Company, the CCECC that provided furnishings, as well as all the air condition, both power and water,” he stressed.
The Minister further enjoined residents to demonstrate forbearance and cooperate with government by observing all the necessary rules recommended by health experts, to achieve victory over the virus.
”While the lockdown has been relatively successful in the city centre, I must say that in many of our communities, especially in the vulnerable communities the lockdown has not been extremely successful. And when this virus hits us, it is going to hit these vulnerable communities very hard. That is why I am appealing. This is a government that is very passionate, but I am thinking that if the situations continue like as it is now, government will have no option than take more hash and firmer measures, because we will not allow a small percentage of us to put all of us at risk.
“It is common knowledge what is happening the world over. We should thank God Almighty that we just talking about 47 cases in FCT, with 2 deaths. As much as possible, we want it to remain low, but that can’t be done without our corporation,” Bello explained.
He said that while FCT administration prays that the confirmed cases of COVID-19 should not exceed the current 48 it is now, private partnership courted through the Ministerial Advisory Committee has gone ahead to make enough provisions to tackle the pandemic.