Enraged by reports that some high-profile individuals in the nation’s capital, Abuja who tested positive for the COVID-19 have rejected their evacuation to the isolation centres and instead opted for treatment in their homes, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has vowed to invoke all relevant laws to force such recalcitrant persons to the centres.
Chief Press Secretary to the minister, Anthony Ogunleye in a statement said this was one of the decisions taken following a meeting of the FCT COVID-19 Emergency Response Team and the FCTA Management.
“The FCT Administration will invoke the relevant laws that enables it to mandatorily evacuate recalcitrant COVID-19 patients to treatment centres”, the statement declared.
The meeting which was chaired by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello had in attendance the Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, the Permanent Secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa the Acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr Mohammed Kawu, Director of Public Health, Dr Josephine Okechukwu, heads of the various sub-committees of the Response Team and other senior staff of the Administration.
The statement noted that “following the submission by the Response Team that some COVID-19 positive individuals were refusing to go to treatment centres and instead preferred to treat themselves in their homes, the FCT Minister expressed dissatisfaction with this development and said existing laws will be used to force such persons to go to treatment centres explaining that their staying at home posed great risks not just to their families but also immediate communities.
“Since we have begun to witness community transmission of the virus, it is imperative that we must do everything within our power to stop the spread even if we have to compel such persons to go to treatment centres,” the Minister said
The statement added that in order to prevent further spread of the virus within the communities, it was resolved that massive testing will be carried out in areas where community transmission has been established, including Mabushi, Gishiri and Utako.
“The Response Team also encouraged all residents to wear face masks when outside in the public and also encouraged them to make their own face masks from cloth and wear them always.
“The Hon. Minister thanked all the frontline workers in the fight against the virus and called for the cooperation of all residents of the Territory in the fight by obeying all laid down measures which include observing social distancing, constant hand washing, observing stay at home directives and maintain respiratory hygiene.
“The meeting also reviewed the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the FCT and the measures taken to contain it. So far, a total of 263 staff made up of 66 doctors, 103 nurses, 9 pharmacists, 15 laboratory scientists and 70 other staff have been trained while 337 others are slated for training which is on-going in batches”, the statement added.