PTF on Covid-19 to meet with security agencies on lockdown

*FG intervention in Kano yielding positive results

By Chuks Oyema-Aziken

The Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 will be meeting with Security agencies this weekend to fashion out modalities for enforcement of lockdown imposed by the government to check the spread of Coronavirus pandemic.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation/Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha disclosed this at the National briefing on Friday in Abuja.

He urged all states to adapt to guidelines for phase 1 of the eased lockdown and ensure the creation of awareness and compliance.

The PTF will be meeting with Security agencies this weekend to fashion out modalities for enforcement.

Speaking on the Workers Day of May 1st, the SGF challenged the labour movement to carry out research and develop new strategies for work place operations, and identify innovative ways of ensuring that productivity of the labour force remains a key driver to the nation’s economic growth.

“Particularly, the challenges we are currently facing in the health sector on account of COVID-19, should be given adequate attention.

“This year’s Labour Theme: “Maintaining Safety and Security in the workplace” further emphasizes the importance of ensuring that all Nigerian workers are adequately protected to increase their productivity. Similarly, it places on the workers the obligation to take responsibility by adhering to the implementation guidelines that have been developed and circulated especially in this COVID-19 era.

“The emphasis on safety has been underscored by the determination of the PTF to ensure the provision of PPEs and related gears for our healthcare workers, security personnel and other essential workers.

He commended the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) for developing and circulating an adaptation of the implementation guidelines released by the PTF COVID-19.

“I also urge all business entities as well as trade associations, especially markets and transport Unions, to similarly adapt and widely circulate these guidelines.

He said the Federal government intervention in Kano is beginning to yield result.

“I wish to inform you that our response to the situation in Kano is producing expected outcomes since testing was ramped up. The State Task Force in collaboration with our teams have also expanded contact tracing and isolation. A lot of emphasis is being placed on training of different categories of manpower (medical, nursing, cleaners, etc), building of capacity for coordination, care management and supply chain.

“We are also putting together a structure from the PTF to provide support on a fulltime basis. The UN-System (WHO) is also putting together a surge Team and re-purposing three thousand Community informants from Primary health care in Kano State, to strength the coordination of COVID at State and LGA levels.

In his speech, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire described the COVID-19 as the most difficult and damaging that nations and healthcare systems have ever faced.

He said only two states have not reported case of COVID-19.

Giving a breakdown of reported cases, he said “Two hundred and four (204) cases were reported in the last 24 hours – Kano (80), Lagos (45), Gombe (12), Sokoto (9), Bauchi (9), Edo (7), Borno (7), Rivers (6), Ogun (6), FCT (4), Akwa Ibom (4), Bayelsa (4), Kaduna (3), Oyo (2), Delta (2), Nasarawa (2), Ondo (1), Kebbi (1). Twelve patients were discharged in the past 24 hours in Lagos (7), Ogun (2), Akwa Ibom (1), Edo (1) and Sokoto (1) bringing the total number of treared and discharged cases to 319.
“These numbers speak for themselves, because the 204 cases are the highest count yet. We now have nearly a thousand in Lagos and more than 219 in Kano. We have sadly lost 51 persons, each painful and difficult to share. On behalf of the government, our prayers go out to their families.

“We have discharged 319 persons, a number that we are working to increase daily, so there is hope. We have now activated 18 labs nationwide, to increase testing capacity and improve case management. Partners and Nigerians, both home and abroad, are volunteering to serve and support our efforts. But the great tribute I pay today is to the workers of our healthcare system.

He commended Doctors, Nurses, Lab technicians, Scientists, and unsung heroes like cleaners, drivers, clerks and adhoc staff, who are Nigerians in the frontline.

“Many offices have been working nearly 7 days a week since the outbreak started. Others more have been stretched almost to capacity, but still going strong, showing the Nigerian capacity for resilience and fortitude.

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