By Luminous Jannamike – Abuja
The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, on Sunday, clarified its position on the COVID-19 status of corps members undergoing orientation course in Bauchi a day after the State Primary Healthcare Agency reported that no fewer than eight of them had tested positive for the virus.
Recall that the Information Officer of the Agency, Ibrahim Sani, had also stated that a surveillance team has been instructed to carry out sample collections and investigations of all corps members undergoing training in Wailo Orientation Camp, Bauchi in order to avoid de-escalation.
However, NYSC’s Director, Press and Public Relations, Mrs. Adenike Adeyemi, explained that all prospective corps members for the three-week course underwent the COVID-19 test, conducted by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as a prerequisite condition for admission into any of the 37 camps nationwide.
She insisted that those who tested positive were not admitted into the camps, but were duly referred to the NCDC for treatment and management.
Adeyemi said the clarification became necessary to remind the general public, particularly parents and employers whom the corps members would be deployed to for their mandatory one-year national service that all corps members and camp officials are safe and COVID-19 free.
“The attention of Management of the National Youth Service Corps has been drawn to a media report, which erroneously states that 8 Corps Members currently undergoing Orientation Course in Bauchi State NYSC Orientation Camp tested positive to COVID-19.
“Management wishes to posit that at present, no corps member, undergoing orientation course in Bauchi state or any of the orientation camps of the Scheme across the nation, is COVID-19 positive.
“It is very pertinent to note that all the prospective corps members of the foregoing programme underwent COVID-19 test, conducted by Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which was a prerequisite condition for admission into any of the 37 camps. Those that tested positive were not admitted into the camps but were duly referred to the NCDC for treatment and management.
“Therefore, reporting that 8 Corps Members undergoing Orientation Course in Bauchi State tested positive to COVID-19 is very misleading, as there is no COVID-19 positive Corps Member in Bauchi Camp or any of the NYSC Camps,” Adeyemi said.
She assured that the Scheme’s management would continue to prioritise the welfare and safety of corps members as a cardinal policy thrust of its Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim.
Speaking further, Adeyemi enjoined all corps members and camp officials to always observe all COVID-19 safety protocols as issued by the Scheme in collaboration with the NCDC.