By Joseph Erunke, Abuja
The federal government said Tuesday that the ThisDay Dome donated to it by media mogul, Nduka Obaigbena to assist in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, has been repurposed as a comprehensive medical treatment centre.
The government said the former multimillion event centre, located in the Central Business District of the Federal Capital Territory city would go in no small measure to assist the country in the fight against the pandemic.
Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, speaking at the commissioning of the project in Abuja, said redesigned for testing, tracing and treatment of COVID-19 cases will save the nation the burden of facing limited health centres for the disease.
“This is a fully comprehensive medical treatment centre, professionally designed and equipped and repurposed to suit the testing demands of the day,” he said, adding that: “As the president will say even if it turns out that we don’t need it. We are thankful and grateful to have it.”
According to him,”The centre has not just added to the number of available beds but saved the Nigerian health sector the anxiety of looming shortages in treatment centres.”
The minister explained that the centre was made up of a complete Intensive Care Unit, ICU, ventilators, x-ray machines and dialysis as well as ThisDay 54gene 24-hour testing laboratory capable of handling 200-1000 tests daily.
He attributed the success achieved in the remodelling of the former event centre to a health treatment centre to what he referred to as “brainwork.”
He expressed appreciation to the management of ThisDay over the gesture just as he hailed Sahara Group and the private sector coalition for facilitating work at the centre.
Facilities at the centre are among 54genetesting mobile lab complete with reagents, and a scalable ability to perform 200-1,000 tests daily.
The treatment centre is expected to assist in quick tracing App for COVID-19 contact tracing in addition to 98-room hotel and conference centre for medical staff for six months.
It was facilitated by many groups among which are CACOVID, African Finance Corporation, Chinese Civil Engineering Company, CCECC, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.