The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello, has ordered the closure of shops in markets and neighbourhood centres in Abuja following the outbreak of coronavirus.
Speaking to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, Muhammad Bello explained that the measure was to help tackle the spread of COVID-19 across FCT.
However, shops selling essential products and bakeries are to remain open but should abide strictly to laid down measures and safety procedures.
The Minister also revealed that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) was preparing multiple health isolation and treatment centres to better manage cases of the COVID-19 pandemic in the FCT.
Bello said the FCT Administration has been working very closely with the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada to expand the capacity of the current isolation and treatment centre at that location so that it would be able to accommodate more patients by providing needed essential facilities.
He further disclosed that the Zuba General Hospital would also be converted into an isolation and treatment centre to accommodate more patients, should the need arise.
Other measures to curtail the spread of the virus include the “closure of shops in markets and neighborhood centers to traders except those who sell essential commodities and medicines. Pharmacies and supermarkets selling essential products and bakeries are however to remain open but should abide by strictly laid down measures,” Malam Bello said.
Bello also disclosed that Civil servants in the FCTA on grade level 12 and below have also been directed to remain at home starting from Tuesday, 23rd March 2020 till further notice.
He, however, stated that all workers on grade level 12 and below on essential duties such as water supply, fire service, security and medical services, emergency response officers as well as environmental protection workers are exempted from the stay-at-home directive.
He also said that as part of implementing the social distance measures, the FCTA will enforce a ban on all gatherings in public parks, gardens, bars, night clubs and football viewing centres amongst others until further notice.