As part of the precautionary measures taken by the Federal Government against the importation of Coronavirus into Nigeria, and the response to be adopted in the event that the disease is imported, the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has carried out an inspection tour of the Isolation Centre under construction at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) Gwagwalada, today Tuesday, 2020.
In a brief meeting with the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Hospital, Professor Bissallah A. Ekele, before the inspection, the Minister said that with the outbreak of the disease and its scare, "we must not allow it enter our country through any of the entry points” As such, If any passenger should test positive at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Abuja, he/she will need to be isolated, thus, the need to have an isolation centre at UATH"
Ehanire said there is need for a facility where diagnosis could be carried out by staff to be trained by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Port Health Services Division of the Ministry, so that patients would not need to travel as far as Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, which is the special centre for Lassa fever in Edo State.
The Minister therefore solicited the support of UATH to enable the health sector tackle the disease in case of its importation.
In his response, the CMD pledged, not only to make the yet to be completed Isolation Centre available but also to offer the newly completed Accident and Emergency department for temporary use while awaiting the completion of the Isolation centre.
In the Minister's entourage were: the Acting Director, Department of Public health, Dr. Wilfred Ene-Obong, the Director, Port Health Services, Dr. Morenike Alex-Okoh, the Director Special duties, NCDC, Dr. Priscilla Ibekwe, the Senior Technical Assistant, to the Minister, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu, amongst other dignitaries.