NIGERIA – The Private Sector led Coalition Against COVID-19 of Nigeria (CACOVID) has donated a 150-bed isolation centre and medical equipment worth millions of naira to the Lagos State Government.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, speaking at the inauguration of the centre in Yaba, said the facility would assist the state government to enhance its COVID-19 pandemic response.

Sanwo-Olu commended CACOVID for the donation, pledging that it would be judiciously used to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the state, and indeed Nigeria.

He urged the citizens to continue to take responsibility by following preventive measures and directive of the government toward reducing the spread of the virus and saving lives.

“We need to take responsibility because the virus knows no race, ethnicity, religion or boundary. Take responsibility for your loved ones by wearing face mask, maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene to reduce morbidity and mortality,” the governor said.

Sanwo-Olu said that post COVID-19, an international research centre, more isolation wards and doctors’ quarters would be established in the Yaba Hospital.

He commended all health workers at the frontline of the COVID-19 response, stressing that their efforts were appreciated.

In his remarks, Prof. Akin Abayomi, the State Commissioner for Health, said that the centre was the sixth centre in the state dedicated to the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Abayomi said that the 150-bed facility donated by CACOVID would be used for the management of moderate to severe COVID-19 patients.

He said the centre was coming onboard at a time that the state was ramping up its testing capacity, adding that it would assist the state to admit more patients.

Also, Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that the centre would enhance the state’s healthcare system and the management of COVID-19 in the state.

Emefiele said that collaboration between the private sector and government was vital to prevent the spread of the virus and save lives of the citizens.

According to him, N29 billion has been donated so far by members of the coalition toward supporting the government’s efforts and response to COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that the fund had been used to establish isolation centres across the country.

Emefiele said that 32 isolation centres had been built as of today, with the target to reach 39 isolation centres by the end of July.

The CBN governor added that CACOVID had also provided in-kind food palliatives to members of the public across the country to ameliorate the effects of the virus on their welfare.

Emefiele commended members of the coalition for rising up to the task through generous donations that had assisted it to achieve its goals.

He also lauded the healthcare workers and the state government for their efforts in implementing strategies, caring for the infected patients and reducing the spread of the virus in the state.

Also, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Chief Executive, Dangote Group, said that the Lagos Isolation Centre was a model for what the coalition would build in other states.

Dangote, represented by Ms Zouera Youssoufou, Managing Director, Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), said: “It is with great pride that we hand it over to the state. More supports would come to the state from the coalition. We appreciate everyone’s efforts.”

Commenting, Mr Herbert Wigwe, Managing Director, Access Bank, said that Lagos was more vulnerable to spread of the virus due to its large population.

Wigwe commended the state government for its efforts to reduce the spread and effect of the virus on the citizens.

He also appreciated the state government’s support and transparency to CACOVID.

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