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Nigeria's Buhari recalls retired disease control staff to assist with coronavirus battle

Men wait by the roadside selling rubber gloves and protective face masks, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covvid-19) continues in Abuja, Nigeria. File picture: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Men wait by the roadside selling rubber gloves and protective face masks, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covvid-19) continues in Abuja, Nigeria. File picture: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Published Mar 27, 2020

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Pretoria - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has announced via Twitter that all recently retired staff of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and those who are on international assignments, should return to work.

Buhari said he issued the directive on Thursday as the country’s Covid-19 cases increase. 

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“I have directed the NCDC to draft all its recent retirees back into service to beef up our manpower as we respond to the pandemic.

"Furthermore, all NCDC staff and experts who are away on training or international assignments are to return immediately.

"Already the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) are conducting an evacuation mission to bring back some of our specialists in Central Africa, to enable them to support the national response,” the president said in series of tweets.

The directive is expected to improve the workforce of the NCDC.

On Thursday, the NCDC said confirmed Covid-19 cases stood at 51. By Friday morning, the number had increased to 65. 

Nigerian publication Today reported that the director-general of the NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said last week that the agency had insufficient manpower and was maximising what it had to curb the spread of the virus. 

He said the NCDC was not only working to battle Covid-19 but also other diseases like Lassa fever, which had caused about 176 deaths across the country.

Nigeria is following in the footsteps of Italy, Britain, and states in America, where retired healthcare professionals have been ask to assist with rapidly increasing infection numbers.

African News Agency (ANA)

Related Topics:

Covid-19

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