Ministry provides 57 MKO Stadium suites, other facilities as COVID-19 treatment centres
The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development have made fifty-seven executive suites at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja available for use as COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres.
Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, who spoke at the inspection of facilities at the stadium, said it has become necessary to get them ready for use when the need arises.
“We have 57 executive suites here; you can see how they are, self-contained, with toilets there, and we think this facility belongs to this country and that this facility is available if the need arises,” he said.
“As I said, the medical authorities, the health authorities will make that determination on a need basis but this is a typical one. You have seen the toilet and the bath there; you have seen the size of it. It can fit in a proper bed for isolation and we have 57 of them and it is one of the facilities.
“Earlier, we looked at the Velodrome and the multi-purpose sports hall and when you look at what we have here, we have something similar in Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna, we have something similar in Lagos. Every stadium is a big complex and we have several parts and there are parts of those complexes that can be useful for the pandemic we are facing.”
The minister added: “Beginning this weekend, we will start fumigating and cleaning them for any Nigerian who needs them as determined by the health authorities.”
He also added that the open fields of the stadiums might be needed for distribution of medical supplies and as testing centres to allow for social distancing.
Citing examples of the Hard Rock Stadium in Florida, Hard Rock Cinema Florida U.S., seven football clubs in Brazil, who have turned over their stadiums to the health authorities, as well as in Spain and Italy, the minister said it had become imperative for Nigeria to look at countries with high numbers of the infected cases and do same in order to stop the pandemic in its tracks. The minister maintained that sports has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus, adding that it has to also be actively involved in stopping the pandemic.