REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION/CHAIRMAN OF THE PTF-COVID-19 AT THE COMMISSIONING OF THE THISDAY DOME TEMPORARY TREATMENT & ISOLATION CENTRE, ABUJA ON TUESDAY, 12TH MAY, 2020
I am very delighted to be here today to Commission the ThisDay Dome Treatment and Isolation Centre. This 300-bed facility with a 54gene laboratory, is a private sector driven initiative donated by a consortium of like-minded partners powered by the Sahara Energy Group and the ThisDay Media and Technology Group. Other key players include the CA-COVID, the AFC, CCECC, NNPC and the CBN.
2.The Coronavirus is the most important global public health challenge of our generation. It is ravaging our health and wealth all over the world and Nigeria is not an exception. Between January 30th 2020 and today, the world has recorded a total of 4.269,684 confirmed cases, 287,529,000 fatalities and 1,534,013 recoveries spread across 213 countries.
3.In Africa, the statistics show that 62,826 confirmed cases and 2,269 fatalities have been recorded across 53 countries. Nigeria recorded her first index case on 27th February, 2020 and as at 11th May, 2020, total number of cases recorded stood 4,641 cases with 902 discharged and 152 fatalities. The modelling projection by experts indicate that the numbers will continue to rise before the curve begin to flatten.
4.The COVID 19 pandemic has brought a reawakening to both Government and the Private Sector to collaborate in the injection of a much-needed investment into our health care system. The COVID-19 has totally overwhelmed even the best of health systems in the world and that serves all developing nations a powerful notice to wake up.
5.Today, we are witnessing the realization of the synergy with the commissioning of this facility, which is designed to accommodate 300 beds and is scalable to 500. The speed and commitment demonstrated by the partners that developed this infrastructure
is a call to other private sector entities to also get involved in the development of public interest facilities.
6.The PTF advocates strongly that lessons to be drawn from COVID-19 should therefore revolve around development, future planning, consensus building, collaboration and partnerships. Government can not always do it alone. We must all be involved.
7.I have been informed that this facility also has an intensive care unit for the treatment of the most severe cases of COVID 19. This would go a long way in providing care for the growing number of cases especially for levels 1 & 2 categories. I am also happy to note that this is one of the facilities into which care for persons living with disabilities who might get infected, has been incorporated.
8.The PTF continues to assess and review all relevant policies and protocols so that our actions and decisions are implemented in the most effective ways and the nation can properly wage the war against the COVID-19. In other to take the development of infrastructure to the grassroots, emphasis is now being placed on community ownership, guidance, acceptance and implementation. The PTF therefore calls on other corporate bodies and public-spirited individuals to take up the challenge of providing critical support infrastructure in the rural communities as Nigeria has entered community transmission phase of the pandemic.
9.Ladies and gentlemen, as we continue to develop health infrastructure, the PTF also wishes to underscore its total commitment to research into a cure for the COVID-19 disease. We are actively encouraging all our institutes and researchers to step forward for a validation of their inventions, discoveries, etc that can help humanity bring this pandemic to a quick end. Again, we urge our corporate bodies to show sufficient interest in the areas of research and medicine.
10.I wish to extend the sincere appreciation of His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to every group of persons and corporate entities that have contributed to making this center a reality especially Mr Tope Shonubi, Managing Director, Sahara Energy Group and Nduka Obaigbena of the ThisDay Media and Technology Group.
- I also commend the Honourable Ministers of Federal Capital Territory and Federal Ministry of Health for paying personal attention and for facilitating the delivery of this magnificent facility.
12.Finally, I consider it important to re-iterate our appeal to all Nigerians to please continuously comply with the guidelines especially in observing physical distancing, regular washing of hands, wearing of face masks/coverings, obey the curfew, avoid large gatherings and stay at home. You must take personal responsibility for your actions to stop the spread of this virus.
13.On this note, it is now my singular honour and privilege to commission this Treatment and Isolation Center along with the 54gene laboratory, to the glory of God and good of humanity. May all those who come in here find healing and may the almighty protect all frontline workers that will deliver care, here and everywhere.
14.I thank you for listening and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.