COVID-19 Lockdown: Abuja Officials Arrest Pastor, Shut Christ Embassy, 15 Other Churches

A unit of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, charged with the enforcement of the COVID-19 stay-at-home has arrested the general overseer of Jesus Reign Family Church,  U. Uden.

The church is located at Apo.

The pastor was arrested on Sunday, March 29, 2020, for violating the ban on public gatherings places of worship as part of measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The church was fully in session when the team arrived. Members of the ministerial taskforce waited for the pastor to conclude the worship before approaching him to explain his wrongs and immediately arrested him.

He was immediately taken to the FCT Police Command at Garki and handed over to policemen on duty.

The team also dispersed worshipers at the Christ Embassy Church located at Jahi District of the FCT.

Despite the presence of the team, the unnamed pastor continued the service until the end, while the team waited to avoid any confrontation. He was, thereafter, arrested and taken to the FCT Police Command at Garki.

The enforcement team also shut down the popular H-Medix Pharmacy located at Wuse II District of the FCT, following complaints received at the FCT COVID-19 Situation Room that the pharmacy does not have gun thermometers and other required items to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

Fourteen other erring churches in other parts of the FCT were also shut down by the team.

Meanwhile, the FCT Administration has put in place provisions for additional bed spaces in Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital and Karu General Hospital to attend to any emergency of symptomatic patients of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, the FCT minister of state who made this revelation during an inspection of medical facilities in both Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital and Karu General Hospital, also revealed that provisions had been made for 32-bed spaces in Gwagwalada, while that of Karu will accommodate 300 patients.

Aliyu stated that the plan to make provisions for additional bed spaces was not to instill fear in the residents of the territory, but in a proactive measure to respond to any emergency, just as she called on residents to stay safe and observe all precautionary measures put in place by relevant authorities.

"We are here in Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital to see the facilities put in place for symptomatic patients of coronavirus. About 16-bed capacity is almost ready and we are setting up another 16-bed capacity, bringing the total to 32-bed spaces. They are all isolated cubicles. We had a donation of oxygen plants from NNPC. We will run the pipe immediately to supply the oxygen.

"Our preparedness is not to instill fear in the minds of the public, but the truth is that we have to be prepared because we are all witnesses to what is happening in other climes. There are more cases of symptomatic patients on the ground and it is such patients that will be taken here. Therefore, the message is: stay safe, stay alive," she stated.

While in Karu General Hospital, the minister gave the contractors handling the project 48 hours to put finishing touches to the facility, otherwise get the contract terminated, stressing that the Karu facility will accommodate 300 patients.

She said: "This Karu facility will accommodate about 300 patients and we are here to inspect the facility and the level of preparedness. The contractors are about to commence work and to install the oxygen plant to ensure that there is enough oxygen supply for confirmed cases to be used. We are giving the contractors 48 hours to ensure that the job is done as scheduled or get the contract terminated."

Hattip to Sun

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