Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Anxiety as FCT record new cases of coronavirus

There is palpable fear among residents of the FCT as the Federal Ministry of Health over the weekend, confirmed three new cases of the dreadful Corona Virus disease in the territory.

The Ministry of Health had over the weekend confirmed 10 new cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, out of which three new cases in the FCT and seven new cases in Lagos State, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 22.

All the 10 new cases are Nigerian nationals, with nine of them having travel history to the Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom.

Some media had on Saturday reported that the index case is an official of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and was one of the passengers on the British Airways’ flight that landed on March 13, 2020.

The three cases in the FCT are being treated at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada while the seven new cases in Lagos are being treated at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba.

With the virus confirmed to be in the FCT, many residents are worried that health officials may not be properly prepared to handle an outbreak, especially considering that resident doctors called off their strike only recently.

A banker with a new generation bank, Agbo Gabriel, is worried that the FCTA decision to shut down schools and regulate social gathering may have come a bit late.

“It’s obvious the virus has been in the FCT for a while now we are only playing to the gallery because some public institutions still don’t have essentials like hand sanitizers and all. How many test labs and isolation centres do we even have in the FCT in case of an outbreak?

“I just hope the virus is contained fast enough if not we may have some serious case on our hands. The FCT is populated so we must do all we can to contain it, especially in the rural areas”

A federal civil servant who does not want his name on print, told our correspondent that the confirmation may be coming late as rumours of the virus being in the FCT has been on for some days, but officials kept mute to prevent spreading panic among residents.

“The truth is that they are aware that the virus has entered Abuja, but they have been trying to keep it under wraps. In fact more than 12 people were under surveillance last week among them a ranking senator so you can imagine.”

The FCT Administration on Friday restricted religious gathering to 50 persons.

The FCT Minister through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Strategic Communication, Mal. Abubakar Sani, advised all religious leaders and worshippers to follow all laid down health protocols as stipulated by the relevant health authorities for the control of the Coronavirus disease.

Sani, in a statement issued at the meeting with religious leaders across the Territory, said the administration stated that the restriction also applies to social gatherings at event centres, football viewing centres and night clubs, amongst others;

He said the essence of this restriction is to make the tracking of suspected cases, if any, easier for the health authorities.

The minister enjoined residents not to engage in panic buying and always seek for information about the disease from the FCT Public Health Department and other agencies of government.



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