NIGERIA’S Catholic community has offered all of its 425 health facilities across the country to the government to be used as isolation centres as its contribution to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
At the moment, Nigeria has 4,641 coronavirus cases of which there have been 150 casualties but the number of infected people is growing on a daily basis. In Nigeria, the method adopted has been to open isolation centres across the 36 states but with the number of cases rising, health officials are running out of bed spaces.
Responding to the shortage, the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has offered all its 425 health facilities across the country as isolation centres. Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation and chairman of the Covid-19 presidential task force, who announced the move, said state governments can now take advantage of the facilities.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), no state in the country has enough bed spaces for Covid-19 patients but with the recent donations, this problem should ease. Mr Mustapha asked governors to approach the Catholic bishops in their states to access these facilities.
He added: “As part of efforts to support the states in the establishment of the isolation and treatment centres, I wish to remind our governors that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has volunteered all its 425 hospitals and clinics nationwide for adaptation and use as isolation centres. As a further cost-effective measure, I also wish to remind sub-national authorities that the Nigeria Institute of Architects has pledged the pro bono services of their members to modify, design and supervise all Covid-19 related projects nationwide and we urge that this offer be taken up speedily.”
In addition, national newspaper Thisday, has offered a dome treatment and isolation facility to the federal government. Nduka Obaigbena, the Thisday publisher, said they are donating the facility to support the fight against Covid-19 in Abuja.
Mr Mustapha added: “It will add a total of 270 beds to our isolation capacity in Abuja. This is a private sector-driven initiative and we commend the efforts of this Thisday, NNPC, Sahara Energy Group, CCECC and all the partners involved in this enterprise.”