At the handing over to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and the Federal Capital Territory Administration of the ThisDay Dome COVID-19 Isolation and Treatment Centre, Tuesday, 12th May, 2020, a visibly elated Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has described the handing over as “a landmark achievement in collaborations between public and private sectors to fight a common enemy and rescue our country and people from the grip of the raving corona virus disease.”
He stated that “the nature of this virus makes the identification and isolation of infected persons and their contacts a public health imperative, the importance of which cannot be overemphasized, and an expedient measure in the fight against the highly pathogen, it is critical for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria and globally.”
The Minister revealed that since the first confirmed case of Covid-19 was announced on the 27th February 2020 in Nigeria, there has been a steady surge in the number of cases and the epidemic curve adding that as at 11pm last night, 242 new cases with 4,641 cases was confirmed, 902 discharged and 150 deaths recorded in 34 states across the Federation including Federal Capital Territory saying that community transmission of the disease that necessitates urgent response is already with us.
While still tracing the story of the ThisDay Dome COVID-19 Treatment and Isolation Centre, the Honourable Minister disclosed that the Nigeria’s private sector took it upon themselves to rise to the occasion of the fight against the pandemic, by forming the Coalition against COVID-19 known as CA-COVID which he said is in connection with the event of the handing over, the Sahara Energy Group and ThisDay Media & Technology Group for the donation of the ThisDay Dome Treatment and Isolation Centre. He stressed that “the Centre has not just added to the number of available bed spaces, but saved the Nigeria health sector the anxiety of looming shortages.” In his words: “During a pandemic like COVID-19, the high volume of casualties produced within a short time, challenges even the most established health systems in the world by occasioning embarrassing shortages of equipment, bed spaces and treatment facilities. Providing bed spaces for Isolation and Treatment is most vital measures that could be taken to support the health system in infection and prevention control against the pandemic.”
Dr. Ehanire further reveled to his audience that the ThisDay Dome Treatment Centre has the Sahara Foundation Wards and ICU Centre complete with Ventilator. X-Ray and Dialysis; ThisDay 54gene Testing Mobile Lab complete with reagents- with scalable 200-1000 test per day; an Industrial grade medical incinerator; the CBN Medical Grant in direct support to FMOH and Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) for the day to day running of the Centre.
The Honourable Minister also announced another private sector donation of a 98-room Hotel and Conference Centre next door to the ThisDay Dome Treatment Centre, for medical staff for 6 months at the handing over event.
Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Honourable Minister of State for Health, while giving the vote of thanks at the event, not only expressed the gratitude of the Federal Government to the Donor Group, also called on other well meaning Nigerians who can afford it, to show the humanity in them and support the Government to put in place similar facility not only in Abuja but in other parts of Nigeria.
Signed report by:
Brenda Nwokike (Assistant Chief Information Officer);
Blessing Efem (Senior Information Officer); and
Grace Anyanwu (Higher Executive Officer, Information)
For: The Director, Information.