By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
To check the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) has designated two military laboratories to carry out test.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major-General John Enenche disclosed this on Friday when briefing the press on status of the military support against the deadly virus.
He said: “I am to restate the commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to provide all required assistance to civil authorities at all levels. It is worthy to point out here that all the six geopolitical zones are covered by the Armed Forces of Nigeria, that is Army, Navy and Air Force formations by the 21 designated isolation centres. Further to this, the 80 trained medical personnel are already deployed at our formations for engagement.
“In addition, Personal Protective Equipment have been provided. The highpoint of our level of preparation towards supporting the FGN to tackle COVID 19 pandemic is the provision of 2 military laboratories to carry out test for corona virus. These are the Defence Reference Laboratory in Abuja and Nigerian Air Force Reference Laboratory in Lagos.
He encouraged the general public to abide by the guidelines provided by the government on preventive measures against contracting the corona virus.
“Key among which is the instruction on lockdown given by the Federal and various State Governments. This will ensure that appropriate actions are taken by the relevant agencies to indentify and manage cases promptly in order to prevent community transmission.
“Therefore, the Nigerian Military reiterates that, the essence of this measure is for the good of all Nigerians and other nationals residing in the country. Thus, all are kindly requested to co-operate with the security agencies to ensure that the lockdown is effective.
“At this juncture, I must state clearly that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is to provide the minimum necessary force to support the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies, to checkmate the nefarious activities of criminals wanting to take advantage of patriotic and loyal citizens, who are observing the lockdown directive.
“Consequently, all criminally minded individuals are hereby warned to desist from disturbing the peace of other citizens of the Country. Otherwise, they will be tackled appropriately in line with the principles of Internal Security Operations and Rules of Engagement, in order to ensure the security of lives and property of peace loving Nigerians.
“In view of this, the general public is requested to provide credible information to law enforcement agents on criminal activities in their neighbourhoods, to enable them nip their plans in the bud.”