The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has directed public and private schools in the territory be shut down until further notice.
The measures, the government said, will be intensified to prevent the outbreak of the dreaded (COVID-19) otherwise known as coronavirus in the territory.
FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, gave the directive in Abuja during a meeting with heads of Secretariats, Departments and Agencies (SDAs) under her supervision.
The minister also directed that social gatherings and worship centres should be restricted to avoid large gatherings that could further endanger the health of others.
She stressed that shop owners who fail to provide hand sanitisers and other preventive measures should be closed down indefinitely.
According to her: “We should not endanger the lives of children for whatsoever reasons. You know, when these children are in schools, they pick up anything and put them in their mouths without taking precautions of washing their hands. Therefore, the best and safer thing to do is to close down the schools for a week, two or even a month pending on the outcome.”
“It might interest you to know that some states have gone ahead of us by closing down schools and we in the Federal Capital Territory, the seat of government cannot fold our hands and watch helplessly.
“As a matter of fact, as from tomorrow being Friday, all public and private schools in the territory should be closed down indefinitely.
“In the same vein, social gatherings and worship centres should be restricted to avoid large crowds because of body contact. Health officers will ensure that shop owners who fail to put in preventive measures will be closed down”.
A statement on Thursday by her Special Assistant Media Austin Elemue explained that sensitisation would be intensified in all the six Area Councils across the territory to prevent a possible outbreak of the disease.
On his part, the Acting Executive Secretary of (FCT) Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Iwot Ndaeyo, said the board will mobilise all the stakeholders in the rural communities to drive the campaign.