COVID-19: US asks doctors, nurses around the world to apply for visas

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The United States has asked medical professionals seeking to work in America to apply for a work visa at the nearest US Embassy as part of measures to strengthen the health system to contain the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The government in a statement published on on Friday, advised foreign medical professionals already in the US to consult with their sponsor to extend their programmes.

According to World Health Organisation statistics as of 12:00 pm on Friday, 63,570 people have been infected with the virus and nearly 884 have died in the US which is quickly becoming the new epicenter of the outbreak.

The statement read, “We encourage medical professionals seeking to work in the United States on a work or exchange visitor, particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19, to reach out to the nearest embassy or consulate to request a visa appointment.

“For those foreign medical professionals already in the United States:

“J-1 Alien Physicians (medical residents) may consult with their programme sponsor, ECFMG, to extend their programmes in the United States.  Generally, a J-1 program for a foreign medical resident can be extended one year at a time for up to seven years.”

It noted that the expiration date on a US visa did not determine how long one can be in the United States.

Meanwhile, a company, Golden Royal, has donated a 600-bed facility to the African Development Institute of Research Methodology in Enugu for use in treating coronavirus patients.

The Director of the Institute, Prof Ike Oluka, who disclosed this during the final round of training organized by the institute for 150 health personnel and other volunteers, explained that the fully air-conditioned facility would give comfort to patients, adding that the government alone cannot fight the scourge of COVID-19.

He stated that members of the response team had been successfully trained and had been sent out to create awareness and sensitize the public on what to do to prevent the spread of the virus.

He said, “The 600-bed facility will really help in the treatment and mitigation of COVID-19 cases. Part of what we are also doing is going around different communities and sensitising the people on how best to stay safe at this critical time.

“We have also drawn together doctors and nurses from private hospitals across the state w would also help us in talking to people within this period.”

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