Uche Usim, Abuja
As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday said that work has begun in earnest to provide and equip medical facilities in the six geopolitical zones. This will involve the creation of testing, isolation and treatment centres, and include the provision of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and molecular testing labs.
CBN spokesman, Issac Okorafor, in a statement said the project had commenced with Lagos (1,000 beds), Kano (500 beds), Rivers (210 beds) Abuja (200 beds), Enugu (200 beds) and Borno (200 beds) and expect to be operational within 10 days. The next phase will see locations set up in Katsina, Ogun, Bayelsa, Anambra, Bauchi and Plateau to be ready within three weeks. The remaining states of the federation will be set up in the last phase within the next five weeks.
According to him, based on the population of Lagos, and the fact that it is the epicentre of this crisis, “we will also be creating a permanent structure within the next 4 to 6 months.
“Teams have been set up and world-class standards are being employed to aggressively pursue a solution to this pandemic.
“This is a massive effort and all hands must be on deck, which is why at a time like this, it is critical we come together as one – hence the need to channel all our efforts through the CACOVID umbrella.
A CBN account, he added, had been set up for those who wish to make a monetary contribution.