COVID-19: FG to Engage 800,000 Volunteers to Sensitise Communities

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Edozie Udeojo,Abuja

The federal government is to engage 800,000 volunteers nationwide to sensitise Nigerians on the dangers and spread of COVID-19, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, said thursday in Abuja.

He added that another 880 people were trained on sample collection, packaging and transportation.

And faced with an upsurge in the number of cases and shortage of bed space, the government is considering repurposing hotels and schools to serve as quarantine and isolation centres for COVID-19 patients.

Nigeria recorded 182 new cases of the virus yesterday, bringing to 8,915 the total number of persons infected.

Announcing this last night, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said Lagos recorded 111 new cases of the disease, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 16, Akwa Ibom 10, Oyo eight, Kaduna and Delta six each, Rivers five, Ogun and Ebonyi four each, Kano three, Plateau, Gombe and Kebbi two each, while Kebbi, Bauchi and Borno have one each.

It said the virus had claimed 259 persons.

Meanwhile, PTF said it would on Sunday submit its next report to President Muhammadu Buhari, explaining that it would inform his decision on the next phase of measures to be taken in the gradual reopening of the economy.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a press briefing by PTF, Aliyu said the over 800,000 community engagement partners would be drawn from all the 774 local government areas of the federation to sensitise the public about the community spread of the virus and disseminate life-saving messages.

Aliyu said PTF would engage the partners for the campaign using existing community structures to disseminate messages to the grassroots.

The partners include National Orientation Agency (NOA), Nigeria Red Cross, UNICEF, NYSC members, National Council of Women Societies, Jamaatul Nasri Islam and Yar’Adua Foundation.

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