Mr. Boss Mustapha, Chairman of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19

Nigeria decries growing doubts about virus existence, partners with CACOVID on oxygen supply

*To overcome some of these challenges of doubts about existence of the virus, the PTF will intensify the risk communication and community engagement to create awareness, says Boss Mustapha, Chairman of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19

*Laments failure of several states to encourage testing despite taking Federal Government’s funding for same purpose

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In view of the rising cases of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria in recent times, the Federal Government has decried the spread of doubts about the existence of the virus among a section of the population.

Mr. Boss Mustapha, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who stated this disclosed Tuesday, January 5, 2021, at the media briefing of the PTF, in Abuja, FCT, called on all Nigerians to join in the public enlightenment measures to curb further spread of the damaging Coronavirus.

Mustapha said: “To overcome some of these challenges, the PTF will intensify the risk communication and community engagement to create awareness.

“The share level of doubts about the virus is alarming and I call on every one to become advocates in support of the National Response.”

The Chairman of PTF on COVID-19 also said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the establishment of at least one oxygen plant in each state of the Federation in order to enhance gas availability for life support for COVID-19 patients.

According to him, the Private Sector Coalition in the fight against COVID-19, (CACOVID) had committed to supplying 100 cylinders of oxygen daily to critical care centres in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, until the end of March 2021

All the efforts have been in a bid to save more Nigerian lives from the pangs of the dreaded infection, said the SGF.

Mustapha further stated: “In the last two weeks, a lot has been discussed on case management and in particular, the availability of oxygen to save lives.

“We are pleased to inform you that the private sector –CACOVID has commenced supporting our response with 100 oxygen cylinders per day till the end of March, 2021, for distribution to critical care centres in Abuja.

“Furthermore, approval has been given to rehabilitate five oxygen plants across various tertiary health institutions in Abuja.

“The President has also approved that at least one oxygen plant should be established in each state of the federation immediately.”

He noted that the unusually high turnout of number of infections in the last few days indicated the effect of the activities during the recent holiday period.

The agency particularly noted that the highest number ever recorded since the national response commenced in the country was 1,204 cases recorded and published Monday, January 4, 2021.

He, however, expressed the hope that the numbers, the way they had been coming out in recent times, would not escalate beyond the control of the national response.

“From our analysis, we are beginning to see the effect of activities carried out during the Christmas festivities. We can only hope that numbers will not escalate beyond control. We however, still appeal to all citizens to take full responsibility through compliance and vigilance,” said he.

The Chairman equally lamented the low testing rates, especially in most states of the federation, the provision of financial and other resources as necessary support to all the state notwithstanding.

“Regrettably, however, there is still very low testing in a number of states.

“For clarity, the DG NCDC will elaborate on the spheres of responsibility in testing and the Federal Government has sufficiently supported the States to enable them support surveillance and IPC.”

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