As part of efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 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 (NYSC) nationwide as isolation centers.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare explained that the ministry is in touch with relevant authorities and stakeholders to make these facilities available in line with the President’s approval to halting the spread of COVID-19.
According to him: “Since the stadia 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 stadia 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, gymnastics and other spaces located in these stadia will commence shortly.
“The world over, stadiums are being used by nations as they battle COVID -19. 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 their stadia to the country’s health authorities to use as field hospitals. Back home, Lagos State Government has set up the 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 use, we must, however, all be prepared to support the system and ensure that the nation is not caught unawares,” the minister stated.
“God bless all our doctors and medical staff at this critical time,” the Minister stated.