The Sahara Foundation and ThisDay have confirmed that the capacity of Abuja’s coronavirus (COVID-19) isolation and treatment centre will increase to 300 beds with additional eight Intensive Care Unit (ICU) transit beds amid rising cases in Nigeria.
More than 600 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Nigeria as the number of infections rises daily.
In response to this acceleration, the capacity of the COVID-19 Isolation Centre currently under construction by the CCECC inside Abuja’s ThisDay Dome has been significantly increased from 200 to 300 beds.
The expansion will also include the completion of facilities to support the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) tests for the virus along with the inclusion of eight ICU transit beds for severe cases.
Engineers overseeing the project say the new expansion directive has led to a short postponement of the projected completion date of the project from April 20 to April 27, 2020 (with a five-day dry run), thus receiving its first patients that same week if required.
Providing updates on the project, Chairman, Sahara Charitable Foundation said: “The expansion of the facility at this time is in response to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases and the need to ensure that the centre is equipped to handle the most patients effectively and efficiently in line with global standards.
“Ninety per cent of the project is complete and we are so grateful to the construction teams, frontline medical personnel, volunteers, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, the FCTA, NCDC and the Ministry of Health that are working together to spearhead our nation’s efforts towards halting the spread of the virus. ”
Onwuamaegbu added: “Delivery of beds, ventilators and other equipment meant for the facility is on schedule to ensure seamless handover to the NCDC, while electrical and plumbing fittings are at an advanced stage.
“It will also be the first COVID-19 center with dialysis machines. Sahara Foundation (coordinating on behalf of the Sahara Energy Group companies) and This Day / ARISE NEWS alongside other partners on this project are delighted with the progress made so far and believe the success of the Isolation Centre will inspire other projects across the nation to ensure Nigeria is equipped to contain COVID-19, save lives and return our country to full economic activities.”
The COVID -19 Isolation Centre is a joint initiative of the Sahara Foundation, the personal and corporate social responsibility vehicle of energy conglomerate, Sahara Group, in collaboration with ThisDay.
Partners involved in the collaboration include the Presidency, Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA), China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Arise News, Egbin Power Plc, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) representing stakeholders in the oil industry, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Others include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, The Regent School, Kenol Engineering, Mama Cass Foods, Wood Factory, Ebewele Brown Clothiers, TRAFFIK Clothing and Dr. Madu (the Medical Coordinator).