The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said it has commenced community outreach to test persons with coronavirus symptoms and avert further spread.
The Director of Public Health of the FCT, Josephine Okechukwu, stated this in a notice shared with PREMIUM TIMES.
“We have started the community active case search in Mpape yesterday by sentization and sample collection of eligible clients. It will be expanded to other communities,” she said.
The deployed personnel, she said, will screen everyone with history of cough, fever, catarrh, chest pain and difficulty in breathing.
“This is to detect everyone with COVID-19 and get them treated promptly to break the chain of transmission in the FCT,” she said.
Ms Okechukwu, a medical doctor, said the testing will extend to Gishiri, Utako and Mabushi on Wednesday and Thursday.
The chairperson of the FCT COVID-19 response committee, Aliyu Umar, told PREMIUM TIMES the community testing may witness upsurge in the number of cases in the city.
“We are lucky for three days no new case was recorded in the FCT. But with this community tracing we may experience rise in the cases. But this is very important so that cases are detected before further spread,” he said.
Mr Umar, a former minister of the FCT, urged residents not to panic in case of any discovery as it was better to discover the cases than allow them to quietly spread the virus.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Mpape was selected to begin the community tracing because of its proximity to Maitama were most of the FCT cases were found.
Appeal for help
On the further lockdown of the FCT for additional two weeks, Mr Umar said palliatives are being planned both from government and private sector.
He appealed to wealthy persons in the FCT to complement the government efforts by buying and donating food items to the needy for the success of the lockdown.
“We appeal to public spirited individuals to buy as much food as they can to help the poor. We don’t want them to give us the money, let them buy the items themselves.
“If they come to us we can help them with the appropriate protocols for distribution and we can provide them with security clearance to enable movement of the food items,” he explained.