Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The Federal Government, Tuesday, disclosed that it has given approval for the distribution of medical equipment and consumables that had been piled up by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the (COVID-19), including the supply by the Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, to the states.
This, the government said was part of the national response to stem the spread of the novel Coronavirus in the country.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PTF COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, disclosed this during the daily press briefing in Abuja.
“I am pleased to inform you that as part of the support to the states, the PTF has approved the distribution plans for medical equipment and consumables available in stock to the states. The physical distribution shall commence immediately. This will be in addition to the Jack Ma equipment and materials already shared to the states.
“While the PTF continues to assess the impact of the lockdown preparatory to the submission of a Report to Mr. President, we have observed general compliance with the restrictions.
“However, much more work shall be required in the creation of awareness among the people and securing the buy-in of stakeholders. I find it necessary to remind us all that this COVID-19 pandemic is not a joke and it is a global pandemic. I therefore renew the appeal of the PTF to all Nigerians to view it as such and comply with all advisories and directives in the interest of humanity.
“Let me once again thank the Media for the tremendous support we continue to receive. I thank the selflessness of our frontline health workers for their professionalism and hard work”, he said.
The SGF said that working closely with the states, the PTF had discovered that, just like the federal government’s efforts, the states, under the strict supervision of the governors whom he had mostly been leading their various response efforts from the fore, had prepared required emergency arrangements to meet outbreaks of the disease in their domains, as well as other forms of preparations.
Mustapha noted that this new effort would be part of the collaboration between the federal and state governments to combat the pandemic.
He also revealed that the Federal Government wll now focused more attention on Kano, Osun Oyo and Edo, which had recently received highest impacts.
“The Reports coming out of our continuing collaboration with the states indicate the following: governors have been at the head of the response which is encouraging; the State Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) and their treatment centres are in place
“There are improved levels of preparedness and response activities- focusing more on strengthening current capacity where they exist over building new structures.
“There is obvious need to support the states in strengthening coordination across board; more guidance should be provided in the area of non-pharmaceutical interventions; particular attention is to be focused on some states with heavy burden, particularly, Kano; and priority is being placed on Intensive state level support.
Also speaking about the rising numbers of confirmed cases in some Kano, Osun, Oyo and Edo states, the National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, said the the task force was working closely with the governors of the affected states, adding that the federal government was already monitoring developments in the states.
Aliyu also warned that as testing continued to improve in number, there would also be an increase in the number of confirmed cases.
“We do note the concerns about increased report of cases, we are closely monitoring Kano, Osun, Oyo and Edo. We noted the particular concern with Kano and we have engaged closely with the state government.
“Because we are increasing the number of tests as we ramp up, there is the possibility that we’ll continue to have more and more cases coming in.
The National Coordinator emphasizes the need for complying with the lockdown policy, particularly for the two states of Lagos and Ogun, as well as the FCT, saying, “We’ll like to urge Nigerians to stay at home.”