By Stanley Onyekwere
Following the widening novel coronavirus pandemic scare, residents, religious leaders and other stakeholders in Abuja, the nation’s capital city have been cautioned to avoid large gatherings that could expose them to contracting the deadly disease code named COVID-19.
In particular, they are advised to ensure that social gatherings and worship centres should be restricted to avoid large gatherings that could further endanger the health of others.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, gave the directive yesterday in Abuja, during a meeting with heads of Secretariats, Departments and Agencies (SDAs) under her supervision.
Aliyu, also directed that both public and private schools in the territory should be shot down until further notice, and warned that shop owners who fail to provide hand sanitizers and other preventive measures should be closed down indefinitely.
“We should not endanger the lives of children for whatsoever reasons. You know, when these children are in schools, they pick up anything and put them in their mouths without taking precautions of washing their hands.
“Therefore, the best and safer thing to do is to close down the schools for a week, two or even a month pending on the outcome.
“It might interest you to know that some states have gone ahead of us by closing down schools and we in the Federal Capital Territory, the seat of government cannot fold our hands and watch helplessly. As a matter of fact, as from tomorrow being Friday, all public and private schools in the territory should be closed down indefinitely.
“In the same vein, social gatherings and worship centres should be restricted to avoid large crowds because of body contact. Health officers will ensure that shop owners who fail to put in preventive measures will be closed down,” the minister said in a statement by her S.A Media, Austine Elemue.
The statement added that as part of intensified measures to prevent the outbreak of the dreaded COVID-19 in Territory, the FCT Administration would intensify sensitization in all the six Area Councils across the Territory to prevent possible outbreak of the disease.