COVID-19: Obaigbena donates ThisDay Dome as 320-bed isolation centre
•Denies preference for foreign airlines
Chief Nduka Obaigbena, the publisher of ThisDay newspaper on behalf of The ThisDay and Arise Media Group in association with notable partners, has donated the ThisDay Dome in the Central Business District of the Federal Capital Territory to be used as a Treatment and Isolation Centre as part of his contribution to the fight against coronavirus in Nigeria.
The centre which is said to have the capacity for 320 beds has a further capacity to contain 500 beds if scaled up.
Other partners in the project include the Sahara Foundation, the Corporate Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), African Finance Corporation and the Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company which handled the internal partitioning amongst others.
The facility which the Federal Government said is 98 per cent ready, has been visited by top officials like the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, ahead of the formal opening next week.
Also, the Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire, paid an inspection visit to the site on Tuesday and expressed satisfaction with the level of work at the dome which the government has fitted with utilities and other necessities for management of COVID-19 patients.
The minister who was accompanied by top management officials of the Ministry of Health, expressed gratitude to Obaigbena for what he described as a “generous” donation, adding that he is satisfied with the conversion of the ThisDay Dome to an isolation centre which is almost 98 per cent ready fitted with utility supply and other necessities for COVID-19 response.
A tweet by the Federal Ministry of Health on its handle said, “We are extremely grateful to Chief Nduka Obaigbena who generously donated the ThisDay dome to be converted to a 320-bed isolation centre.”
Speaking during his inspection to the dome on Tuesday, the minister thanked the ThisDay publisher and called on others to also join in the fight against COVID-19.
He said, “I thank the ThisDay Dome management for making this facility available and we will like to seize this opportunity to appeal to other private sector people that mean well for Nigeria; those that believe they have earned some benefits from Nigeria to please join hands not only with ThisDay, but also with the private sector coalition against COVID-19, to work together in ensuring that we can tackle these cases head-on and solve the problem for the good of Nigeria and Nigerians.”
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