The Honourable Minister of the FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has expressed appreciation to the organized private sector for the assistance rendered to the FCTA in the efforts at containing the COVID-19 pandemic in the Territory.
The Minister said this when he toured medical centers and infrastructural facilities being put in place as part of the FCTA’s measures to curtail the spread of the disease in the FCT.
The Minister visited the IDU train facility Training Center which is being outfitted to accommodate 300 beds to be used as an isolation and treatment center, the Asokoro Hospital, the Karu General Hospital and the road leading to the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, Abuja.
The Minister was accompanied by the Executive Secretary of the FCDA, Engr Umar Gambo Jibrin, his Chief of Staff, Malam Bashir Mai-Borno, the FCT APC Chairman, Alh. Abdulmalik Usman and senior members of the FCTA.
At the Idu Isolation and treatment facility which is a five storey structure, the Minister expressed satisfaction with the pace and quality of work being carried out which has seen to the setting up of 150 beds donated by the Polaris Bank and the Fate Foundation.
Also donated by the FATE Foundation and the CCECC are Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), monitoring machines, furniture and air conditioners. The facility is also expecting 300 extra beds from Julius Berger Nigeria PLC
According to the Minister, the Idu isolation and treatment facility is an example of a functional partnership between the public and private sector working for the benefit of the people.
In his words “the Idu proposed isolation and treatment facility is a reflection of what partnership will be able to achieve. This is a tripartite partnership between the government, the organized private sector as well as a major stakeholder in the Abuja project, the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company, CCECC”.
All of these the Minister continued were carried out under the initiative of the Ministerial Advisory Committee of private sector stakeholders in the FCT under the leadership of Dr Modibbo Aliyu Umar, former Minister of the FCT who have donated their time and resources to help the FCT fight the pandemic.
He expressed confidence that with this kind of partnership, and support from the wider community the FCT will be able to fight and overcome COVID-19.
While touring the Karu General Hospital which is also an isolation and treatment center, the Minister expressed satisfaction with the pace and level of renovation work being carried out at the complex.
He said that the hospital is being configured to cater for 3 levels of patients. These are those coming for general testing and identification, those that require to be quarantined those who will require intensive care, for which a seventeen bed section will be available that will have all the needed facilities including ventilators.
The Minister revealed that the Karu Hospital is a 100 bed facility and is being outfitted by the FCT Administration and a private business concern. He especially thanked MTN Nig Plc for providing a brand new generator for the hospital.
The Minister also visited the Asokoro Hospital which has been converted into an Isolation and treatment center. According to the acting Secretary of the Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr Mohammed Kawu, outfitting the hospital to begin admitting COVID -19 patients should the need arise, will be completed by Friday 10th of April.
Malam Bello commended the staff of the hospital for a job well done and disclosed that the FCT has about 600 bed spaces available should need arise for their use. He however called on the residents of the FCT to follow all the medical protocols as laid down by health authorities which include constant hand washing, maintaining safe distance and staying at home.
He decried the situation where residents especially in the satellite towns flouted the directives on staying at home and warned that the Administration will be firmer in enforcing this directive.
In his words “we will not allow a small percentage of the people to put the rest of us at risk. It is common knowledge, what is happening around the world and we will not allow that to happen here’”
While thanking the medical personnel for all their efforts, he also called on the press to re-enforce the stay at home message.
The Minister also visited the road leading to the NCDC National Reference Laboratory which is under construction, where the FCDA Executive Secretary promised that construction work will be completed over the next 3 weeks. Construction of the road is being fast tracked to accommodate the increased traffic to the Reference Laboratory.