By Benprince Ezeh
THE Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 says that it has reviewed its achievements, challenges and opportunities in the fight against the virus. The PTF said it conducted a mid-term review of its National Response Strategy on the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak in the country to ascertain improvement of its response efforts from inception.
Boss Mustapha, PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, in a press statement on Monday, said that the review was attended by legislators, Chairmen of relevant Committees on Health in the Senate and House of Representatives, the Office of the Vice President, Ministers, Diplomatic Community and development partners.
Mustapha said that the objectives were to review the PTF’s achievements, challenges, and opportunities for improvement of COVID-19 response efforts from its inception to June 30.
According to him, the med-review was also to engage key stakeholders in developing the way forward on COVID-19 in the PTF’s response efforts. “It was expected that at the end of the two-day meeting, key resolutions would have been taken covering actions PTF intended to take in the areas like focusing on having enough oxygen nationwide as the numbers of hospitalised people increased.
“Establishing one sample collection centre per Local Government Area, LGA, and focusing on high burden LGAs with precision interventions, including increased risk communication. “Increase community engagement, including religious leaders and state ownership by increasing state engagement and collaboration, as well as strengthening ownership at the state and local government levels.
“Institutionalise IPC policies in healthcare facilities and take step to increase compliance of non-pharmaceutical measures (use of face masks, hand sanitisers and physical distancing).
“Increase engagement with the private sector, industrial development as a gain from the pandemic and support local production of PPE and other critical supplies.
“Communicating that anyone above 60 years or persons with morbidities (such as hypertension, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cancers etc.), should stay at home and avoid social events as they are at highest risk of infection and mortality.
“Government meetings/Board meetings should be conducted virtually until further notice and all unnecessary travels for meetings by government officials should be suspended till further notice,” he said.
Mustapha also gave the assurance that the PTF has followed with keen interest the conversation around the resumption of schools. “We recognize that our children are precious and we would not do anything to compromise their safety.
“The PTF has assessed the circumstances and has put in place necessary guidelines to be Followed, while the managers of the sector have the responsibility for drawing up the protocols and determining the dates,” Mustapha said.
He urged Nigerians to follow closely the critical steps being taken by the Federal Ministry of Education in conjunction with other stakeholders. “The Federal Ministry of Education has released Guidelines for Schools and Learning Facilities reopening after COVID-19 Pandemic closure,” he said.
The guidelines clearly spell out major things to consider before schools and learning facilities shall reopen, the reopening process, sequencing and scheduling of safe reopening, and decisions about schools reopening.
– Jul. 14, 2020 @ 17:20 GMT