The Socialist Party of Nigeria, Abuja Chapter, has urged the Federal Capital Territory Administration to nationalise and convert all vacant houses in the city to a quarantine centre in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The party said the Federal Government and leadership of the six area councils in FCT have not shown commitment to contain the spread of the pandemic as medical and health workers in Abuja were being exposed to the pandemic.
In a statement signed by its chairman, Dimeji Macaulay, and secretary, Akande Daniel, SPN called on government and all the concerned agencies to be more proactive and put in place all needed materials for medical workers.
The statement read, “Abuja, being the Federal Capital Territory and one of the most affected states of the nation, has failed to show any clear way to go.
“While the medical and health workers are busy treating infected patients and doing everything possible, the Federal Ministry of Health Port Health Services, the NCDC and all the concern agencies have not been provided with essential equipment needed for testing people who are suspected with COVID-19. For instance, all the port of entry into the Federal Capital Territory are yet to be provided with distance-thermometer, personal protective equipment etc.
“The environmental health officers including the volunteers who are supposed to be testing people entering the FCT-Abuja via the borders (Gwagwalada border, Zuba border and Mararaba border) are yet to be redeployed due to the failure of the concerned government and agencies in charge to provide them with necessary materials.
“We call on the government and all the concerned agencies including the six area councils in FCT-Abuja to be more proactive and put in place all the needed materials including providing PPEs for the medical workers.
“We in the SPN make the following demands from Federal Capital Territory Administration and the six area councils:
“All vacant houses in the FCT should be nationalised and converted to a quarantine centre. All households must have easy access to safe drinking water, washing facilities and sanitation. N100, 000 monthly special COVID-19 allowance for health workers who are in the frontline.
“A special life insurance scheme for health workers who die while fighting the pandemic.
“Suitable working hours with breaks or rest period including off duties for medical workers. Adequate instruction and training on workplace safety and procedures for all health workers in the frontline. Periodic and regular testing for healthcare workers in the frontline.
“Provision of safety gear including facemask, gown, hand gloves, respirators etc., for health workers, poor masses and patients.
“Provision of a decent environment for health workers and patients including temporary housing facilities.
“No repression by police, army and other task forces. All security officers that caught must be prosecuted.
“The six area councils in FCT must provide palliative measure to make sit at home easy for working masses.”