By Joyce Remi- Babayeju
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has commissioned the new Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory donated by the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 as its “Legacy Project” at the Kubwa General Hospital yesterday.
Bello expressed appreciation of the Administration and residents of the FCT to the Ministerial Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar, former Minister of the FCT, noting that the contributions to the FCT in the fight against COVID-19 as immeasurable.
He said, “without any fear of contradiction, I wish to say that the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee displayed an immeasurable sense of duty and deep love for country and humanity.”
The minister further noted that the efforts of the members of the Committee assisted the FCT Administration in setting up its flagship Isolation and Treatment Center at Idu with the resources mobilized by its members through their wide network of associates.
Malam Bello disclosed that although the FCT is epicenter of the disease in Nigeria, the efforts of the Committee and the entire COVID-19 Response ensured that relatively few fatalities have been recorded in the FCT while meeting testing targets.
He paid tribute the medical personnel who lost their lives in the course of the fight and observed a minute silence for the repose of their souls.
He also urged residents of the FCT not to be complacent and continue to observe all COVID-19 protocols despite the low positive cases being reported, saying that the virus was still very much around.
The Minister reiterated the FCT Administration’s commitment to ensure replication of similar facilities in the other Area Councils of the FCT using a combination of public and private sector funding as recommended by the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee.
Chairman of the Committee, Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar said it is made up of retired public servants and other individuals from the private sector with the “main task of advising the Minister on strategic response in terms of medical, logistics and public engagement with the view of complementing the existing structures already in place by the FCTA in fighting the pandemic”
Meanwhile Madibbo disclosed that the sum of N202,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Two Million Naira) was contributions from various donors and the Committee decided unanimously to bequeath the FCT with the Legacy Project of a Biosafety Level II Molecular Polymerase Chain Reaction COVID-19 Laboratory at the Kubwa General Hospital.
According to him the laboratory is capable of testing not only COVID-19 but other infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis, Lassa Fever, Ebola, HIV, the Hepatitis Spectrum and Yellow Fever.
Minister of State for Health, Senator Adeleke Mamora present at the ocassion congratulated the FCT Administration for the establishment of the laboratory and commended it for working closely with the Federal Ministry of Health in the fight against the virus.
Present at the event were the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, the Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, the FCTA Ag Secretary of Health Dr Muhammed Kawu and National Incident Manager of the Presidential Task Force of COVID-19 Dr Muhktar Muhammed and senior members of the FCTA amongst members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19.