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FG to release addition N6.5bn Coronavirus intervention fund

…confirms receipt of donated safety kits from Jack Ma Foundation

As part of the effort to prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in Nigeria, the Federal Government said it will be releasing N6.5 billion intervention funds to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The funds will serve as an emergency intervention to NCDC, Bashir Ahmad, Personal Assistant on New Media to the President quoted the finance minister to have said.

According to him, this is coming “as Nigeria intensifies the fight to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in Nigeria, the finance minister has said Wednesday in Abuja.”

This will bring the total amount released by the federal government to tackle coronavirus to N7.484 billion.

The N6.5 billion, the highest tranche to be released for coronavirus intervention will be the third tranche of funds to be disbursed by the government, after the first and second tranche of N364 million and N620 million respectively.

Since the release of the last tranche of funds, the number of confirmed cases in Africa’s most population nation has increased by more than 100 percent.

As of Wednesday, five new cases of Coronavirus were confirmed by the NCDC, putting the total number of those to have tested positive to the deadly virus in Nigeria to 51.

Of the five new cases, two are in FCT, two in Lagos and one in Rivers, NCDC said on its Twitter handle at midnight. Three are returning travellers into Nigeria while two are close contacts of a confirmed case.

Meanwhile, NCDC revealed on Thursday that 6 people in Lagos infected with the virus have recovered, and will be discharged soon.

The Personal Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari also tweeted on Thursday that the Federal Government has acknowledged and confirmed receipt of donated safety and test kits from the Jack Ma Foundation.

Ahmad, quoted the minister of information, Lai Mohammed to have disclosed that the supplies received by the FG from the foundation were “100,000 Face Masks, 1,000 Personal Protective Equipment 20,000 test kits.”

An Ethiopian Airlines Freighter on Tuesday delivered the medical supplies from the Jack Ma Foundation and on Wednesday, the Nigerian Air Force airlifted the Jack Ma supplies to Abuja.

Concerns were raised over the decision of the Federal Government to transport the medical supplies donated by Jack Ma Foundation from Lagos airport to Abuja because Lagos has recorded more cases of COVID-19 than Abuja.

The NCDC has so far recorded 30 cases of Covid-19 in Lagos while Abuja has recorded only eight cases.

An aviation consultant who craved anonymity said he didn’t understand the reasons why medical supplies for Nigeria would be taken to Abuja.



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