SWITZERLAND, MAY 12 – The Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on Monday, donated all its 425 health facilities to be used as isolation centres for COVID-19 patients, a decision that has received a widespread commendation from Nigerians.
Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 who made the announcement added that the increased cases of coronavirus across the country was due to the fact that testing capacity has been increased in the country.
Nigeria currently has a total of 4,461 confirmed cases, and 151 deaths, while 902 patients have recovered.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had said no state in the country has enough bed spaces for COVID-19 patients, but with the recent donations, Mustapha said these would add in the Task Force committee’s support for the state governments.
He said ”During the first week, the country recorded high cases of COVID-19.
”This is attributable to our expanded capacity for testing with the opening up of more testing centres and laboratories.
“As of today, there are 21 laboratories nationwide, including private laboratories.
“We have encouraged States to have at least 300-bed isolation centres, including intensive care units.
“However, with the increase in cases, we have begun to experience some shortages of bed spaces in the isolation centres.
“As part of efforts to support the States in the establishment of isolation and treatment centres, I wish to remind our State governors that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference has offered and volunteered all the 425 hospitals and clinics that belong to the Catholic Mission nationwide for adaptation and use as isolation centres.”
He further stated that Governors are encouraged to approach Catholic Bishops and Arch-Bishops in their States to access these facilities.
Commenting on the gesture, Nigerians on Twitter praised the initiative and recognised it as a significant contribution of the church to the plights of the society in these challenging times.