How a sports stadium in Nigeria is serving as a COVID-19 isolation centre

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As the world continues to battle the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries are taking drastic measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

When hospitals in Wuhan, the city of China where the virus was first recorded got flooded with cases, China managed to build a complete hospital in six days in order to treat patients suspected of contracting the coronavirus.

Sports stadiums and other facilities across the world have been transformed into emergency hospitals as the rise of the coronavirus pandemic puts a strain on hospitals and health workers struggle to find space to put the growing number of patients.

Given their massive acres of land space, sport facilities are seen as ideal location to set up makeshift hospitals. And so, after two years of reconstruction, the Onikan Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria – which was to be the centre of sports activities in the West African country – is instead opening as an isolation centre for COVID-19 cases.

Lagos is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria – and the state, finding itself scrambling to build makeshift centres, has turned the 5,000-capacity stadium into a medical facility as part of effort to curb the spread of the disease.

The facility has 110 beds and was built to ease the pressure on the infectious disease centre at Yaba.

While may have criticised the of the sports facility for such a purpose, Former Executive Chairman of Sports in  Lagos, Kweku Tandoh says there is nothing wrong with using the facility as an isolation centre.

”There is nothing wrong in using that stadium for this emergency,” he told the BBC.

He continued that “It is something that is done the world over. Both the Real Madrid stadium and the Maracana stadium are being used for the same purposes. In times of emergencies, these are things you cannot compromise because it is for the good of the public.”

According to the, Nigeria’s Coronavirus cases as of dawn of Monday, April 6 stood at 232 with 5 deaths as well as 33 recovered cases.



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