The private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) yesterday strengthened the fight against the scourge with the handover of fully equipped isolation center in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and donation of beds & accessories in Enugu, Enugu State.
CACOVID is a joint initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Aliko Dangote Foundation, Access Bank, UBA, GTBank, and private sector organizations.
A representative of CACOVID and Regional Head, Rivers Region 2 of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Ms. Blessing Ogwu, who handed over the center in Port Harcourt said the facility located at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt comprises of isolation and a treatment center aimed at supporting the Rivers State Government in handling cases of COVID-19 infections in the state.
Ms. Ogwu further said the gesture was a response by private organizations in the country to contribute their quota in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that they were also working with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Government in that regard.
She explained, “We are here today as CACOVID, that is a group of Government and Private Sector Corporate Organizations in Nigeria that formed a coalition against COVID-19; that is fighting together so that we all stay alive together. This facility has been presented to the Rivers State Government by CACOVID.
“It is both an isolation and a treatment center. It is a three tent facility containing several beds and other facilities that we have handed over to assist Rivers State Government in handling all the cases that might come in.
“It is our prayer that many cases don’t come in, but we don’t also want to be taken unaware. In Nigeria today fighting this pandemic, we are our brothers’ keepers. So everybody is putting resources and ideas together, efforts and energy together to make sure the citizenry of every state and the federation as a whole will have attention in this common enemy that we all have”, she added.
Speaking shortly after commissioning the facility, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike lauded the coalition for the gesture, saying whatever effort that could be made to prevent further spread of the disease is welcome.
Speaking at the handover of the materials to Enugu State Government, member representative of CACOVID, Mrs. Chiaka Mbagwu, said the Coalition donated the beds and other accessories to assist the state government to equip its isolation and treatment centers, to enable them to accommodate more COVID-19 patients.
She noted that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had put intense pressure on the healthcare systems of the world, stressing that the outbreak had gone out of proportion. Mbagwu said the materials at the center would go a long way in serving the public, and urged the state government to ensure that the facility is of benefit to the citizenry.
“The state has done remarkably effort in equipping this Diagnostic center and CACOVID came in as a support and to add to what the state has already done. This is a Diagnostic center from the inception but the CACOVID coalition was able to add 100 beds isolation center. It will serve as isolation center in the state”, Mbagwu noted.
Receiving the donated materials, the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, commended the coalition for their donation, which would assist the state government. Ugwuanyi disclosed that Enugu state had three isolation centers in ESUT Parklane, Nsukka, and the State Diagnostic Center, noting that coronavirus pandemic had overwhelmed the health system of many countries.
The state governor maintained that Nigeria could only win the war against the virus through collective efforts and enjoined other groups to partner the government to defeat this dreaded virus. He expressed appreciation to the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 for “complementing our modest efforts through their invaluable support”, saying that “CACOVID truly understands that we can only win this war together; as a people; as a country and as mankind”.