The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released 100 pickup vans to be used for tracing those who might have been exposed to coronavirus.

INEC said the vehicles to be used in six states and Abuja were released upon request by the presidential task force (PTF) on combating COVID-19.

In a statement on Friday, Festus Okoye, the commission’s spokesman, said INEC has also placed all its state offices on standby “in case the PTF requests for additional support to combat the pandemic.”

“Furthermore, the Commission is working with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Telecommunication service providers to assist in raising public awareness of the pandemic by sending bulk messages (sms) to registered voters similar to what we do for voter mobilisation,” Okoye said.

“Short messages were adopted from the flyers/leaflets issued by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). This follows the suspension of the Do Not Disturb (DND) policy on sending unsolicited messages to telephone subscribers by NCC.

“Similarly, the Commission is in discussion with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on the possibility of using our electoral registration areas (wards) and polling units nationwide as locations for the distribution of palliative and other relief materials to citizens.

“The 8,809 wards and 119,973 polling units are located in various communities in the country and citizens are familiar with their locations.”

The NCDC had said it has been tracing about 6,700 contacts who might have been exposed to coronavirus.

So far, Nigeria has about 191 cases of the virus across 13 states and Abuja.

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