The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello on Wednesday, in company with senior officials of the FCTA, inspected a five-storey building that may serve as an isolation and treatment facility for COVID 19 patients, should the need arise in the FCT.
The inspection comes as the Minister of State for the FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who sat side-by-side Bello and other government officials on Tuesday at a press briefing has gone into self isolation after given sample of her blood for testing for COVID-19.
She said on her Twitter handle that she went into isolation because she had mingled with unnamed persons who tested positive to the disease.
Her words: “I feel well & have been in self isolation since yesterday evening, because, I was in contact with people who tested positive for Corona Virus. Please stay safe and observe all precautionary measures outlined by @NCDCgov”.
The building, inspected by Bello, located at the Idu area of the FCT is a new training facility that can be modified to suit the purposes of a treatment and isolation center as required by the health authorities.
Malam Bello said that the building could be ideal as an isolation and treatment facility. In his words, “the most critical thing is that this place has a lot of space. We are talking of five floors. I don’t think the whole of Abuja will have a hospital facility that can accommodate up to five floors. More importantly, there is power here constantly, and there is adequate water supply.
He however said that the relevant health authorities will further inspect the facility to determine its suitability.
He said: “I leave it now for the officials of the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and of course our public health officials. Jointly, they will decide what needs to be done here and we have a lot of commitment from private sector organisations which are willing to support the national efforts to fight this disease. Once they all agree, I’m sure that within a very short period of time, this place can be made functional”
In his comments, the Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr Muhammed Kawu, said the building was very adequate and can be converted into a 300-bed facility.
The Director of Public Health, Dr Josephine Okechukwu, said the structure was ideal and would serve the purpose as a treatment center.
She said “this is a perfect place that we have been looking for and it’s quite good. It’s a new structure with so many available rooms that we can fix up for now as a holding centre or a treatment centre if need be”.
Recall that Malam Bello, in his press briefing on the preparedness of the FCT for the Coronavirus on Tuesday, said that while the FCT Administration was making concerted efforts to curtail the spread of the virus in the FCT, multiple health centers were being prepared in case there was an escalation in the number of patients.