The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, has taken additional measures to prevent the coronavirus pandemic from infiltrating and disorganising the troops. One of such measures is the production of Liquefied Oxygen at its oxygen plant at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Yola, Adamawa State.
Our correspondent learnt the oxygen production would serve troops and civilians in need of it at the 18 military hospitals designated as coronavirus isolation and treatment centres.
Also, no fewer than 80 military medical personnel are undergoing training to serve as the coronavirus pandemic technical team.
The coordinator of the Defence Media Operation at the DHQ, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, confirmed the production of oxygen on Friday while briefing newsmen in Abuja, noting that the measures were part of the support of armed forces to the Federal Government.
Enenche added that the oxygen plant would be on “24 hours operation to ensure uninterrupted production of pure liquefied oxygen.”
The coordinator said, “We have provided an additional isolation and treatment centre, located at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Navy Town, Ojo, in Lagos, bringing the number to 18 centres.
“Equally, the training of 80 medical personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to manage the COVID-19 cases has since commenced. They are being trained in batches and will soon be deployed to the various units they will serve.
“In addition, the recalling of retired armed forces medical personnel is in progress.”
He added, “Currently, the Nigerian Air Force is operating at full capacity its Liquefied Oxygen Plant at the 103 STG at the NAF base, Yola. The Liquefied Oxygen is being gasified and will be stored in cylinders for immediate supply to isolation centres and designated hospitals as will be directed.”
Enenche asked Nigerians to disregard some videos trending online showing men in uniform brutalising some civilians as a result of the lockdown.
“The general public should please disregard these videos and consider it as actions of mischief makers.”
Our correspondent gathered that the military had also supplied more hand sanitisers and face masks to its divisions, brigades and units in the North-East to protect its personnel on the frontlines.
The military insisted on Friday there was no case of coronavirus among its troops in the region.
The Nigerian Army had on Wednesday directed its tailoring arm to start the production of face masks for its officers, soldiers and their families as part of preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus.
The army had said that the production by the military tailors was due to the “scarcity of the product in the open market.”
The acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa, said hand basins, sanitisers and soaps had also been provided at military barracks across the country, while people coming in and going out are also screened.
The DMO coordinator, Enenche, had on Monday confirmed that the armed forces recorded one case of coronavirus and the victim was already in isolation.
He had noted that 17 isolation and treatment centres had been located across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
“In the South-West, we have the 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Yaba, and the 2 Division Hospital, Ibadan; in the South-South, we have the Military Hospital, Port Harcourt. the Navy Reference Hospital, Calabar, and the Military Hospital, Benin; for the South-East, we have the 211 Regiment Group Medical Centre, Owerri, and the 82 Division Military Hospital, Enugu.
“For the North-Central, we have the 161 Nigerian Air Force Hospital, Makurdi, and the 22 Brigade Medical Centre, Ilorin; in the North-West, we have the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, the 465 Nigerian Air Force Hospital, Kano, the 263 Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital, Daura, and the 119 Composite Group Medical Centre, Sokoto,” he had said.
Enenche noted that in the North-East, 261 Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital, Bauchi, the 163 Nigerian Air Force Hospital, Yola, the 7 Division Military Hospital, Maiduguri, and the 27 Task Force Brigade Field Ambulance, Damaturu, had been set apart.