By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Minister, Muhammad Bello said his administration may impose tougher measures to achieve health safety precautionary protocols needed to contain the spread of the deadly novel Coronavirus in Abuja.
Bello who expressed displeasure over flagrant violation of the lockdown order at the rural areas within the territory, noted that the administration will not allow few individuals to carelessly put the larger population at jeopardy.
The Minister disclosed this at Asokoro District Hospital, when he inspected the on going work in the hospital, already converted to COVID 19 Isolation and treatment centre.
Bello who had earlier inspected an already furnished 300 bed facility at Idu District, designated as Isolation Centre for COVID 19 patients, the on going rehabilitation works at Karu District Hospital, also meant for COVID 19 patients’ accommodation, 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 was a 300 bed facility, but could be expanded to 500 beds. He noted that one 150 beds were already installed through the partnership of Polaris Bank, FATE Foundation , and more 300 beds would be coming from Julius Berger PLC.
He further enjoined residents to demonstrate forbearance and cooperate with government by observing all the necessary rules recommended by health experts towards order to achieve victory over the virus.
He said, “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 situation continues like it is now, government will have no option than take more harsh 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 cooporation.
He added that while FCT administration prays that the confirmed cases of COVID -19 should not exceed the current 47, private partnership courted through the Ministerial Advisory Committee has made enough provisions to tackle the pandemic.
” 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 conditions, both power and water.
” We have one hundred and fifty beds already installed. 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 Aliyu Umaru”.