The Coalition Against Coronavirus (COCAVID) – a private sector-led initiative, working with the Lagos State Government, is working on providing fully-equipped medical tents to house patients and serve as training, testing, isolation and treatment centres, with an additional facility in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Led by the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, whose Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) has earlier pledged N200 million against the scourge, the coalition rallying against the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) across the country includes the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe.
Also in the alliance to mobilise the private sector through leadership, pooling of resources, public awareness, and directing support to private and public healthcare institutions are Zenith Bank, GTBank, MTN and ITB, among others.
Speaking on the initiative, Dangote said the “ADF is pulling resources across industries to provide technical and operational support while providing funding and building advocacy through aggressive awareness drives.”
According to him, the centres will be fully equipped with medical supplies and trained personnel to cater to prospective patients and “in addition, we will be bringing in experts from around the world to provide technical and training support.
“COVID-19 affects us all and threatens our collective health (economic, social, psychological) and physical wellbeing, hence the urgent need to collaborate to beat this common enemy. The task ahead is daunting and bigger than any organisation. To win this battle, it is critical we all come together as one.”
Urging government support to enable private laboratories test suspected cases alongside government centres and thereby reduce waiting time, Dangote said that work was ongoing to ensure quick completion of the facilities to meet the growing need for them at this period.
“There are currently five government laboratories equipped to handle all the testing in Nigeria. However, we have many more quality ones that can do it but are not yet approved by government to do so,” he explained.