The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Tuesday, announced the conversion of Zuba general hospital into isolation and treatment centre to accommodate more patients should the need arises.
FCT minister, Malam Muhammed Musa Bello, who addressed newsmen in Abuja, said other isolation and treatment facilities are also being prepared.
He said all gatherings in public parks, gardens, bars, night clubs, event and football viewing centres amongst others remain banned until further notice as part of implementing the social distance measures.
Malam Bello stressed that the FCTA would work closely with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital to expand the capacity of the current isolation and treatment centre to accommodate more patients by providing the essential facilities in order to better manage cases of infection.
The minister said the administration has taken the decision to enforce a stay at home policy for all its civil servants on grade level 1-12 from Tuesday, March 24, 2020 till further notice so as to curtail its spread.
“COVID 19 as a full-blown global pandemic has reached every comer of the world and Nigeria has not been spared with 40 confirmed cases in the country. The FCT has so far recorded seven confirmed cases and one fatality,” he said.
“An Emergency Response Team has been put in place to tackle COVID-19 in all ramifications in the FCT. It must, however, be mentioned that containing the virus still depends very heavily on personal choices.
“That is why it remains critical for every citizen to follow laid down health and safety protocols as established by the relevant health authorities.
“We cannot emphasise enough how dangerous this disease is and that is why the mandatory closure of all schools and restriction of gatherings of not more than 50 people was issued last week.”
Malam Bello, therefore, appreciated the leadership of both Christian and Muslim organisations in FCT for their support and cooperation in ensuring compliance with the directive, adding that all places of worship still remain closed.
“However, all workers from grade level 1-12 on essential duties such as water supply, fire service security, medical services, environmental protection, emergency services, FEMA, and others are exempted from the stay-at-home policy.
“Shops in the markets and neighbourhood centres in the FCT are to be shut to traders except those who sell essential commodities and medicines. However, pharmacies and supermarkets and supermarkets selling essential products and bakeries are to remain open but abide by strictly by laid down measures,” he stated.
The minister then admonished the residents to monitor the news channels often as updates on the FCT’s response would be broadcast and published periodically.