The Federal Capital Territory Administration will invoke relevant laws that enables it to mandatorily evacuate recalcitrant COVID-19 patients to treatment centres, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has said.
Bello, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye, on Thursday in Abuja said the measure was one of the decisions taken at a meeting of the FCT COVID-19 Emergency Response Team and management of FCTA.
The meeting, which he chaired, also had in attendance Minister of State (FCT), Dr. Ramatu Aliyu; FCT Permanent Secretary, Chinyeaka Ohaa; acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr. Mohammed Kawu, and others.
The FCT Minister, who expressed dissatisfaction with the development, said existing laws would be used to force such persons to go to treatment centres.
Bello noted that the suspected COVID-19 patients staying at home posed great risks not just to their families, but also immediate communities.
The statement added: “Since we have began to witness community transmission of the virus, it is imperative that we must do everything within our powers to stop the spread; even if we have to compel such persons to go to treatment centers.
“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 minister said the response team encouraged all residents to wear face masks when in the public and also encouraged them to make their own face masks from cloth and wear them always.
Bello thanked all the frontline workers in the fight against the virus and called for the cooperation of all residents of the territory.
He called on residents to obey all laid down measures, including observing social distancing, constant hand washing, observing stay at home directives and maintaining respiratory hygiene.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting also reviewed the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the FCT and the measures taken to contain it.
NAN also reports that so far a total of 263 staff made up of 66 doctors, 103 nurses, nine pharmacists, 15 laboratory scientists and 70 other staff have been trained, while 337 others are slated for training, which is ongoing in batches.