The Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Mrs. Folashade Yemi- Esan, has expressed displeasure with the non-compliance with directives on COVID-19 preventive protocols, particularly with measures limiting the number of staff and visitors to offices
The HoS in a circular dated July 2, said only officers on GL 14 and above and those performing essential services are to report for duty, adding that as much as possible, other categories of workers should be encouraged to work from home.
She said security officers manning the gates to the federal secretariat should be advised to demand the identity card of staff coming to the office and ensure that they are on GL 14 and above; while the list of those performing essential services but are below GL 14 should be sent to the security gates for clearance.
She also charged permanent secretaries to reduce the number of physical meetings in the MDAs to the barest minimum by in the interim hold virtual meetings.
On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said the Federal Ministry of Health was working on a plan to convert all eligible public and private hospitals in the country into collection sites for samples for COVID-19 testing.
He explained that measure will require working with state governments and NPHCDA to identify the facilities and the space within them, to conduct training for the personnel selected and supply both PPEs and sample collection kits, as well as the logistics to go around to recover test samples.
He said the move would ensure better utilisation of available laboratory assets in the country, which as at now are capable of handling far more cases than they presently do.
“If logistics around sample collection and delivery to test sites are better organised, a lot more will be achieved,” he said.
The minister said federal government, through the NCDC, had launched an e-learning platform on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for healthcare workers.
Ehanire also delved into the looming crisis in the health sector in Cross River state where the doctors have gone on strike to protest the state government’s posture towards testing persons for the virus.
He said a 17-man team of the Federal Ministry of Health, led by the Executive Director of National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHDA), had left Abuja for Calabar, the Cross River State capital, to engage with the Cross River State Government in setting up their COVID-19 response and aligning it with the national response.
The minister said he had also called on the Cross River State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) to suspend its strike and receive the ministry’s delegation.
With regard to Kogi State, the minister said arrangements were underway to beef up security at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja for protection of staff and patients.