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COVID-19: Bello commissions molecular diagnostic laboratory, thanks Ministerial Committee

May, 2021 | By Anthony Ogunleye | ||

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello last week commissioned the new molecular diagnostic laboratory donated by the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 as its Legacy Project at the Kubwa General Hospital on Monday. Malam Bello expressed appreciation of FCT Administration (FCTA) and residents of the Territory to the Ministerial Committee headed by a former Minister of FCT, Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar, describing their contributions to the FCT in the fight against COVID-19 as immeasurable.

His words: "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 added that the efforts of members of the Committee assisted FCTA in setting up its flagship Isolation and Treatment Center at Idu with resources mobilized by its members through their wide network of associates. Malam Bello further disclosed that despite FCT's status as an epicenter of the disease in Nigeria, the Committee's efforts and the entire COVID-19 response ensured that relatively few fatalities were recorded in FCT while meeting testing targets.

The Minister also paid tribute to medical personnel who lost their lives in the course of the fight and observed a minute's silence for the repose of their souls. He also urged FCT residents not to be complacent and continue to observe all COVID-19 protocols despite the low positive cases being reported, saying the virus was still very much around. Going forward, the Minister said, FCTA will work towards establishing similar facilities in the other Area Councils of FCT using a combination of public and private sector funding as recommended by the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr Umar revealed that the Committee was constituted on 20 March, 2020 and is composed entirely 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." He added that the sum of N202, 000,000 was raised 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 Kubwa General Hospital.

The laboratory, Dr Umar added, is capable of testing for not only COVID-19 but other infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, Lassa fever, Ebola, HIV, hepatitis spectrum and yellow fever. In his remarks, Minister of State for Health, Senator Adeleke Mamora, congratulated FCTA for the establishment of the laboratory and commended it for working closely with the Federal Ministry of Health in the fight against the virus. Also present at the event were Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr. Olusade Adesola, Chief of Staff to FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, FCTA Acting Secretary of Health, Dr Muhammed Kawu, and National Incident Manager of Presidential Task Force of COVID-19, Dr Muhktar Muhammed, as well as senior members of FCTA and members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19. is safe."

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