The Federal Capital Territory, FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello has announced a partial lockdown of the city, except for those on essential duties.
The announcement came as the nation braces up to contain the further spread of the dreaded COVID19.
The Minister during a world Press conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital said that only those on essential duties such as water supply, fire services, medical services, environmental protection, emergency services like FEMA, are exempted from the stay at home policy.
Bello said that all shops and neighborhood centers are also to remain shut to traders except for those who sell essential commodities and medicines.
However, pharmacies and supermarkets selling essential products and bakeries are to remain open but abide strictly to laid down measures.
“In order to contain this virus and curtail Its spread, the FCT Administration has taken the decision to enforce a stay at home policy for all Its civil servants on grade level 01-12 from today, Tuesday, 24th March 2020 till further notice“, the minister stated.
He further stated that to better manage crises in case of an outbreak, the administration has expanded the capacity of the current isolation and treatment center by converting the Zuba General Hospital to an isolation and treatment center.
Bello said the administration would also be working closely with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital by providing the essential facilities.
He asked residents of the FCT to remain calm, avoid panic buying and continue to obey all laid down measures.
The Minister, therefore, urged Civil Society organizations and other well-meaning Nigerians to work assiduously with the FCT administration to create awareness on how to curtail the spread of the disease.
On the level of awareness in rural communities, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, said the administration has before now embarked on advocacy on the need for constant hand wash, adding that the campaign will be intensified in the coming days.
The FCTA, therefore, called upon NGOs, organizations, and individuals that desire to provide support for the fight against COVID19 to liaise with the Coordinating Response Team under the office of the Minister of State.
Meanwhile, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma has warned that necessary actions would be taken against groups or individuals that contravene any of the laid down health and safety protocols as established by relevant health authorities.
COVID-19 as a full-blown global pandemic has reached every comer of the world and Nigeria has not been spared with 40 confirmed cases in the country. The FCT has so far recorded 7 confirmed cases and one fatality.
An Emergency Response Team had been put in place to tackle the virus in all ramifications in the FCT.