By GRACE AUDU, Abuja –
The robust collaboration between the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration and private sector concerns will in the coming days make available 600 beds in various treatment and isolation centers across the Territory for the fight against COVID-19.
This was disclosed on Thursday by the Minister of the FCT Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, during a ministerial press briefing held in conjunction with the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 under the chairmanship of the former minister of the FCT, Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar.
Malam Bello revealed that based on medical expert advice, the Asokoro Hospital has been fully converted into an isolation and treatment center and can accommodate up to 100 patients inclusive of those that will require intensive care treatment.
The Asokoro Isolation and Treatment Center is due to be opened on Friday, 10th April.
On the Idu Isolation center, the Minister said that the facility can accommodate up to 300 beds and he expressed the appreciation of the FCTA to Polaris Bank for provision of 100 beds and Mr Fola Adeola of the FATE Foundation for the provision of 50 beds and other items such as monitors and PPEs. The Minister also thanked the CCECC for the providing the furniture, air conditioners and power and water to the facility.
The Minister also disclosed that the General hospital Karu is being retrofitted and upgraded into a standard Isolation and Treatment center.
Malam Bello also revealed that more patients in FCT Isolation and treatment center at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital will be released in the coming days if their test results come out as negative
On members of the public who violate the lockdown directive especially in some satellite areas, the Minister said continuation of this will give the Administration no choice but to enforce even stricter measures as it was determined to flatten the curve of COVID 19 cases in the FCT.
On the Palliative measures being put in place by the FCT Administration, the Honourable Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu revealed that 600,000 households of 100,000 each from each Area Council are billed to be benefit from these measures.
She said that there will be in place a monitoring team made up of civil society organisations, religious and traditional rulers, youth and women groups to ensure an equitable distribution of the palliatives. She also revealed that distribution will be carried out through a door to door mechanism to prevent overcrowding.
Malam Bello sincerely thanked members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for devoting their time, expertise and personal resources for fighting the pandemic in the FCT. He also expressed gratitude to the medical personnel in the frontline of the fight against the virus as well as volunteer journalists who have used the platforms provided by the FCTA to enlighten members of the public on its dangers.
The Minister also mentioned and appreciated the corporate organisations that made donations to the FCTA for the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic. They include the MTN Nig PLC and Mikano for the supply of one 350 KVA generators each at the Karu General Hospital and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Isolation and Treatment Center, Julius Berger Nig. PLC for the supply of 350 hospital beds, GE Health for the repair of broken ventilators, GT Bank and Zenith bank for their efforts at the Karu General Hospital and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce complex respectively.
Cash donations as announced by the Minister include the Bank of Industry; N100,000,000, CGC Nigeria Ltd N20,000,000, Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company, N15,000,000, Arab Contractors OAO Nigeria Ltd N15,000,000 and Gilmor Engineering Ltd, N10,000,000.
The Minister also appreciated UBA Nig. PLC for the donation of N300,000,000 to the FCTA and N200,000,000 to the NCDC as well as the NCC for a donation of N25,000,000. Also mentioned and appreciated was Honeywell Group for its donations which has become a part of the palliatives to be distributed.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Ministerial Advisory Committee Dr Modibbo Umar said that the Committee was formed to complement the excellent work the FCT Administration was doing towards averting the COVID-19 pandemic.