THE Presidency on Wednesday reeled out a list of activities and steps already taken and are still being taken by agencies and government functionaries to prevent the spread of the deadly Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.
The Presidency, in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said that the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the entities involved in executing the campaigns had from the start been approved to play their roles by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the statement, the President had, in his Sunday night nationwide broadcast, observed that all agencies and functionaries involved in the fight against COVID-19 had been empowered to do so because they were in the best position to handle the situation.
“In his broadcast to the nation on March 29, President Buhari declared that ‘in Nigeria’s fight against Covid-19, there is no such thing as an overreaction or under-reaction. It is all about the right reaction by the right agencies and trained experts’.
“Lest we forget, below is a chronicle of some of the reactions by the agencies and trained experts, under the leadership of President Buhari. All these are besides the impressive job being done by some governors.”
Government begins the process of reviewing the federal budget.
President Buhari directs the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, to work with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), to ensure that production of essential items such as food, medical and pharmaceutical products continues.
The minister of health stated that of the 65 Coronavirus cases, 40 had immediate travel history to one or more of the Coronavirus affected countries in the last two weeks; 10 are close contacts of confirmed cases; six had neither a recent travel history nor a known contact and six were detected on an offshore oil vessel.
He further revealed that three persons had been discharged from treatment and one fatality was recorded. The minister affirmed that 61 currently active cases are clinically stable with mild or moderate symptoms.
The minister said Lagos State is the epicentre of COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria, adding that the state government and the ministry of health had scaled up their response activities as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control supports them as well as other affected states, through the rapid response teams deployed.
The minister emphasised that health facilities and health workers at all levels should be on alert and maintain a high index of suspicion to give full cooperation to contact tracers everywhere.
He said that while train stations, land borders and international airports remained closed, precautionary measures should be taken by the Federal Government to protect seaports.
The minister stressed the containment strategy of social distancing, which he noted had been repeatedly announced. He said that directives had been issued at the national and state levels to limit large gatherings, including religious, social and political gatherings, school events, etc.
Contact-tracing is ongoing to identify persons who had been in close contact with confirmed cases.
The Federal Ministry of Health is working with states and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to review response activities, and initiate measures to protect the health and well-being of Nigerians. The Multi-Sectoral Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), led by NCDC, coordinates it and other national response activities
NCDC launched a WhatsApp APL, a free to use service to provide a central source of accurate, verified and current information on COVID-19 in Nigeria.
The minister of health also emphasised that the NCDC hotline is available 24/7 and toll free and that various states also have hotlines that could be called for direct state specific questions on COVID-19, while urging citizens to use them legitimately for reporting and enquiries.