As part of efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the Nigerian military is set to deploy 80 medical personnel to complement the number of health workers fighting the virus.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, who made the disclosure while briefing defence correspondents on the preparedness of the Nigerian Armed Forces to manage COVID-19 cases, said that the 80 medical personnel had commenced the requisite training and would soon be deployed.
He said an additional treatment centre had been provided at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos, bringing the number to 18.
He said: “In continuation of our briefing on the Armed Forces of Nigeria support on COVID-19, the High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to assure the public of its commitment to the presidential directives on COVID-19.
“In this regard, I wish to state that we have provided an additional isolation and treatment centre, located at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Navy Town, Ojo in Lagos, bringing the number to 18 centres. Equally, the training of 80 medical personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to manage COVID-19 cases has since commenced. They are being trained in batches and would soon be deployed to the various units they would serve. In addition, the recalling of retired Armed Forces medical personnel is in progress”.
He added: “I wish to also inform you that a strategic level preparation by the Armed Forces of Nigeria in support of COVID-19 effort by the Federal Government of Nigeria is on. Currently, Nigerian Air Force is operating at full capacity its liquefied oxygen (LOX) Plant at the 103 Strike Group (103 STG) at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Yola. The plant is on a 24-hour operation to ensure uninterrupted production of pure liquefied oxygen.
“The liquefied oxygen is being gasified and will be stored in cylinders for immediate supply to isolation centres and designated hospitals as will be directed.
“Furthermore, the Defence Headquarters wishes to once again clarify that the viral videos trending online showing men in uniform are not genuine. The general public should please disregard these videos and consider it as actions of mischief makers who intend to tarnish the good image, integrity and sterling achievements of the Armed Forces of Nigeria”.
He said further: “I am to state here that the High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to thank the general public for their understanding and compliance with the presidential directives in respect of the lockdown. It should be understood that the directives are in the best interest of the Nigerian populace in order to prevent the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic”.