Covid-19: Abuja on lockdown as minister shuts markets, churches, mosques, gives sit-at-home order

In the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has ordered workers at Grade level 1 to 12 to stay at home as part of measures to contain the disease spread.

The move was announced by the Minister of FCT, Muhammad Bello, while he addressed newsmen at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

It also ordered the immediate closure of churches and mosques, shops in the markets and neighbourhood centres, except those selling food items and other essential commodities.

Bello said, “Shops in the markets and neighbourhood centres in the FCT are to be shut to traders except those who sell essential commodities and medicines. However, pharmacies and supermarkets selling essential products and bakeries are to remain open but abide strictly by laid down measures.”

While noting that the FCTA had raised an emergency response team to tackle the spread, the minister explained that containing the virus depended largely on personal choices.

In order to better manage cases of infection, the minister said the FCTA would work closely with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital to expand the capacity of the current isolation and treatment centre to accommodate more patients by providing the essential facilities.

He added that the Zuba General Hospital would also be converted into an isolation and treatment centre to accommodate more patients should the need arise.

The FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, who was at the event, promised that security agencies would enforce the order restricting gathering to not more than 50 persons in churches and mosques.

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