The federal government has appealed to owners of unoccupied buildings to donate them temporarily to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
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The request is against the backdrop of plan by government to scale up the capacity to test Nigerians for the virus and the anticipation of a surge in those who turn positive.
The Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, made the appeal at the briefing of the Presidential Task force on the scourge on Thursday, saying: “It is true that we are getting a surge. If you hear the announcement made by the Director- General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), it is that they want to do two million tests. That will bring up a lot of cases. We know that. That’s the purpose, to bring up the cases and take care of them before they infect more people.
“I am appealing, not only to state governments, but to citizens, to make properties available temporarily for this purposes. I am sure that there are many property owners who will come up and look at their empty and donate them for a period of time to the state governments to be able to use these facilities for this function. That is the reason why I made that appeal.”
Continued: “We are going to look for bed spaces. We are not right now. We are not out of space (yet) but we are making that appeal ahead of time so that we have these facilities and these spaces ready. As the President said, we want to be ready but we hope we don’t need them. We hope and pray we don’t need these facilities but we need them to be present, to be there.”