COVID-19: FG approves stadiums, NYSC camps as isolation centres

The Federal Government has approved for the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to make available the stadiums in Surulere, Lagos; Ibadan, Abuja and Kaduna as well as the orientation camps of the National Youth Service Corps nationwide as isolation centres.

This is part of efforts to curb the spread of the covid-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare said that the ministry is in touch with relevant authorities and stakeholders to make these facilities available in line with Mr. President’s approval to halting the spread of Covid-19.

He said: “Since the stadiums are huge complexes with many outdoor and indoor areas, it is now up to medical personnel and authorities to determine the appropriate areas of usage if and when necessary.  

“The stadiums can be used as testing centres and because of space they will allow for required distancing. The identification and fumigation of multiple buildings such as the multipurpose sports hall, gymnasiums and other spaces located in the stadium will commence shortly.

“The world over, stadiums are being used by nations as they race against the ravages of Coronavirus. The Santiago Bernabéu (Real Madrid Stadium) will be turned into a storage and distribution centre for medical materials donated to the health authorities in Spain. London’s ExCeL Exhibition and Conference Centre is being repurposed to care for patients infected with COVID-19. In Brazil, top football clubs have turned over their stadiums to the country’s health authorities to use as field hospitals. The Hard Rock Stadium in Florida, United States was converted into a community testing centre amongst others. Back home, Lagos State Government has set up the Onikan Stadium (Mobolaji Johnson Stadium) to support efforts at halting the pandemic.

“While our prayers are that Nigeria never gets to the level where these facilities will be put to this use, we must however all be prepared to support the system and ensure that the nation is not caught unawares.

“God bless all our doctors and medical staff at this critical time,” the Minister said.