By Stanley Onyekwere
As part of the proactive steps to widen containment of the ravaging Coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 pandemic, traditional institutions in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) have been warned against shielding those who have tested positive for the disease.
In particular, they are charged to always ensure that all identified COVID-19 positive persons within their domains are exposed and handedover to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for prompt treatment.
The AMAC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu Candido, who gave the charge yesterday, noted that the traditional institutions as primarily the custodians of their people, should know their subjects.
Candido spoke while updating newsmen on the recent compulsory COVID-19 test he and some top officials of the council took, which returned negative, following the positive status of the Council Secretary, who is currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed Isolation Centre in the nation’s capital city.
According to him: “We are trying to ensure that any community leader aided and abetted a COVID-19 positive person, the government would not take it likely with him.
“Therefore, we are already in touch with community leaders, because they are primarily the custodians of their people, so they know them.
We wish to add that for every community that is visited for COVID-19 testing, the NCDC should first and foremost approach the community leader for collaboration.
“And should they be in touch with any confirmed COVID-19 case, community leader should be informed. Because they might actually not know the person who was tested and it came out positive.
“ So, as far as the Area Council is concerned, we are in touch with our people, and we have directed them to ensure that should there be any affected victim in their own communities, and he or she refuses to go to NCDC Isolation Centre, they should report such person to us, so that the Area Council can go after the person, and if possible force him or her into the Isolation Centre, so as to receive treatment.”
The AMAC Chairman continued:
“Don’t forget, AMAC being a sensitive and responsible in the entire six FCT Area Councils, we were the first to take proactive steps against COVID-19, to ensure that we don’t allow our people to get infected.
“So we are still at that ladder, that is why even when one of us got infected (now recovering well), we took the bold step, by subjecting ourselves (top officials) to a compulsory COVID-19 test, which the results returned negative.
“Last weekend, we further decontaminated our Secretariat, to improve the safety of the place. That’s why I said the Area Council is free of all fears as far as any infection is concerned.”