Low COVID-19 Cases Shouldn’t Be Misinterpreted For Victory, FG Warns Nigerians

A file photo of the SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, addressing reporters at a PTF briefing in Abuja.

 

The Federal Government has warned Nigerians to remain vigilant as the nation intensifies the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Addressing reporters on Monday in Abuja at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, warned that the country has yet to win the war against COVID-19.

According to him, it is important that the daily low test and case confirmation numbers should not be misinterpreted to mean that Nigeria has overcome.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said the government has over time ramped up testing but there was more to be done to raise the quantum of test per million.

He said an analysis showed that five states still account for 60 per cent of cumulative cases and 689 out of the 774 local government areas (LGAs) have reported at least one case.

The PTF chairman decried that 85 LGAs in 20 states remain with no testing done and no case reported while 50 per cent of all the cases were in 20 per cent of the nation’s LGAs.

He insisted that Nigeria has yet to reach the peak of the pandemic but noted that the PTF was happy that many survivors were telling their stories and sharing them on social media.

 

Mustapha believes the stories of those who he said doubted the existence of the virus and became infected and are now expressing appreciation for the timely intervention of the case management team, have provided compelling proof that the virus is real.

He, therefore, called on the people to continue to observe all existing measures towards curbing the further spread of the disease in the country.

Read the full remarks by the PTF chairman at the briefing below:

REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION/CHAIRMAN OF THE PTF-COVID-19 AT THE NATIONAL PRESS BRIEFING OF MONDAY, 10th AUGUST, 2020

​I welcome you all to the National Briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 for Monday, 10th August 2020.

On Thursday 6th August 2020, the PTF intimated Nigerians with the new direction of further easing the lockdown in our National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we progress in this new phase of the eased lockdown, continual monitoring of global and national science and data remains the basis for strengthening our efforts to contain the virus.

​Key sectors that the PTF will be watching in addition to the general level of compliance are the education and transportation sectors.

Schools are gradually reopening with the commencement of preparations for critical examinations. Guidelines have already been issued by the Federal Ministry of Education to all stakeholders.

For the transportation sector, the PTF continues to follow the developments in railway and air transportation respectively.

Nigerians and sector stakeholders are admonished to ensure compliance with the various non-pharmaceutical measures already in place.  The PTF and the Federal Ministry of Aviation are working rapidly towards reopening of the international flights.

​The PTF will also be looking closely at the issue of Risk Communication and Community Engagement.

Messaging and consultations shall be intensified to drive the level of awareness and compliance to the wider population using mediums and platforms that are most effective generally and specifically.

Today, the global numbers of confirmed cases surpassed 20 million and 750,000 deaths. These statistics remain serious warning signals accompanied by pains and anguish to families and friends that have lost loved ones.

Africa’s confirmed cases have surpassed one million mark which is a landmark. The challenge however is that the true numbers could be higher because we suspect strongly that for every reported case, up to seven might have been missed.

Ladies and gentlemen, the numbers are surging, community spread has taken root and expanded beyond the urban areas. The watchword is vigilance and taking extra care.

​Nigeria, with 46,577 confirmed cases and 945 cumulative deaths, remains respectively the third and fourth highest in these parameters. As we emphasized at the last briefing, Nigeria is yet to reach the peak of the pandemic.

Therefore, the low test/ case confirmation numbers coming out daily should not be misinterpreted to mean that we have overcome. We have over time ramped up testing but more needs to be done to raise the quantum of test per million. Our analysis has however shown that:

(i)  five (5) States still account for 60% of cumulative cases;

(ii) 689 out of 774 LGAs have reported a case;

(iii) 85 LGAs in 20 States still remain with no testing done and no case

Reported; and

(iv)  50% of all cases are in 20% LGAs

The PTF is happy to note that many survivors are telling their stories and sharing them in the social media.

The stories of those who doubted the existence of the virus and became unfortunately infected and are now expressing appreciation for timely intervention of the case management team provide compelling proof that the virus is real.

I am also happy to note that the electronic media has taken up our challenge of joining the risk communication as depicted over the weekend with the face to face interview conducted by the Arise News team.

​It is also important I inform you that Nigeria continues to play its role in supporting the fight against COVID-19 on the West Africa Sub-Region.

Last week, men and women of the Nigerian Airforce distributed PPEs and medical supplies donated by the West African Health Organisation and other partners to our neighbors.

However, to show true leadership against the pandemic, we, as a people and country need to contain the virus by doing all we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the country at large.

I now call on the Honourable Minister of Health, DG, NCDC and the National Coordinator to provide us with their briefs.

​I thank you so much for your attention and have a good evening.

Buhari Approves Extension Of Eased COVID-19 Lockdown By Four Weeks

The SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, addressing reporters at the PTF briefing in Abuja on July 27, 2020.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension of the second phase of the eased lockdown for another four weeks.

This extension is the third for the second phase of lockdown currently observed across the country.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 disclosed this during the Task Force briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

The task force had met with President Buhari on Wednesday and briefed him on the progress made so far in containing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping citizens safe from contracting the virus.

READ ALSO: US Adds 1,262 Virus Deaths In 24 Hours – Johns Hopkins

Boss Mustapha while addressing newsmen today noted that the PTF made some recommendations to the president and the extension of the current ease of lockdown was one of the inferences approved.

The PTF chairman further disclosed that to sustain gains already made in the last few weeks, the task force recommended to President Buhari to retain the current phase of the response, with minor changes to address economic, socio-political, and health concerns.

According to him, the major changes being proposed are aimed at achieving the gradual re-opening of international air flights within established parameters. re-opening of rail transportation within established parameters, and the granting of permissions to exit classes to resume ahead of examinations.

Under the revised guidelines of the eased lockdown which will be maintained in the next four weeks, the current nationwide curfew from 10pm- 6am still stands.

Also, meetings for government officials and parastatals will continue to hold virtually.

While the ban on entertainment centers will be maintained, restrictions on recreational parks have been lifted for non-contact physical activities.

Passengers arriving for domestic flights can now arrive at least an hour and a half before flight, and three hours before the flight for international travelers.

The SGF however, reemphasized the need for everyone to take responsibility, and stop the stigmatization of persons who have contracted, been treated, and have been certified negative for COVID-19.

Buhari Extends Phase Two Of Eased Lockdown By Four Weeks

PTF Chairman, Mr Boss Mustapha, at a press briefing in Abuja on May 18, 2020.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has extended phase two of eased lockdown by another four weeks with effect from tomorrow Tuesday, June 30 through midnight of Monday, July 27, 2020.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha made this known to State House correspondents after President Muhammadu Buhari was briefed on the status of the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

According to him, the extension has some modifications to the ease of lockdown protocols that allows inter-state travel outside the curfew hours which is 10: 00 pm to 4:00 am daily.

The second phase of the eased lockdown also allows students who are taking their final examinations to resume schools.

Next Pandemic Must Not Catch Us Unprepared – SGF

A file photo of the SGF, Boss Mustapha, addressing a press conference in Abuja.

 

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SFG), Mr Boss Mustapha, believes the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has offered Nigeria an opportunity to develop its internal capacity ahead of disease outbreak in the future.

He stressed the need for the nation to look inward and plan ahead, saying the COVID-19 pandemic would not be the last.

Mustapha, who is the Chairman of the Task Force on COVID-19, stated this on Monday while briefing reporters in Abuja.

He noted that the PTF visited the National Reference Laboratory to witness the processes for testing on Saturday last week.

According to him, the process is rigorous, thorough and demanding as an enormous sacrifice is being made by nurses, doctors and other medical personnel.

The PTF chairman explained that the visit also enabled the team listen to the challenges faced at the laboratory and to recognise such challenges as opportunities.

On the activities of the PTF in the last hundred days, he listed the achievements to include an increase in the number of laboratories.

He, however, decried that COVID-19 cases have continued to rise in the face of the successes recorded.

Mustapha noted that the last weekend brought the guidelines on religious centres to focus and urged worshippers to comply with the directive.

He, therefore, called on Nigerians to take responsibility by adhering to the health safety protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Read the full speech of the SGF at the PTF briefing below:

REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION/CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENTIAL TASK FORCE ON COVID-19 AT THE NATIONAL BRIEFING OF MONDAY, 8th JUNE, 2020

PROTOCOLS

I welcome you all to the National Briefing for Monday, 8th June 2020.

​This briefing is significant because Nigeria on Saturday 6th June 2020, reached the milestone of 100 days since the index case was recorded. You will all recall that the index case was recorded on 27th February 2020.

The COVID-19 has taken the entire world by the storm because it has disrupted all known systems, including governance, economy, financial system, travels, and healthcare. Even the best of healthcare systems and arrangements succumbed to the force of the virus.

Within our national setting, the weaknesses inherent in our national healthcare systems were made glaring and needed urgent attention. Government determined immediately, to take on the lessons and to ensure that the healthcare system experienced tremendous leap in human and infrastructure development as well as policy focus, stability and direction.

​Within the 100 days under review, the following modest accomplishments were recorded:

  1. The number of laboratories in the COVID-19 network has increased from 2 to 30 – with a laboratory in every geopolitical zone in the country, providing increased access to testing.
  2. Over 80,000 tests have been conducted in the country.

iii. Over 13,000 health workers have been trained, increasing the human resource available for case management.

  1. More personal protective equipment and ventilators have been procured and prepositioned across the country.
  2. The number of beds available for isolation and case management has increased from 3000 beds to 5000 beds nationwide.
  3. Developed new guidelines for homecare and general case management;

vii. Evacuated over 1,000 Nigerians from different parts of the world while still reviewing the evacuation and quarantine protocols

viii. Enhanced the efficiency of the identification, testing, evacuation, and isolation process for confirmed cases;

  1. Gradually reopening the economy while balancing between lives and livelihood;
  2. A Mid-Action Review has been conducted in line with WHO guidelines, with lessons and recommendations being used to improve the response;
  3. Introduced Community Engagement and Risk Communication as critical factors that will help to flatten the curve in a sustainable manner;

xii. Engaged with development partners and the private sector to grow the capacity of the nation in the response;

xiii. Introduced several non-pharmaceutical interventions to slow down the spread of the virus.

There are several ongoing infrastructure interventions being made by government, development partners and the private sector nationwide.

 

​The last hundred days have also brought out the best in the spirit of Nigerians. There has been tremendous private sector and corporate mobilisation.

Similarly, individuals have also sacrificed their little savings for the good of all. What this underscore is the strength of our communal culture and unity in diversity. The PTF thanks everyone for giving hope in the face of a global pandemic, even when humanity seemed helpless.

​In spite of these accomplishments, Nigeria, like the rest of the world, has witnessed a steady rise in the number of infections. As at midnight on Sunday 7th June, Nigeria had the following statistics:

​​Confirmed cases: 12,486

​​Discharged:          3,959

​​Fatalities:               354

 

​Based on the trend, science, and data as guiding beacons, it has become obvious that Nigeria has entered the community transmission phase. This has significantly helped in identifying 20 high burden LGAs that accounts for over 60% of infections in Nigeria.

The PTF is already pursuing precision actions on these high burden LGAs. It is, therefore, important for Nigerians to recognise the need to take responsibility and the significant role community ownership and risk communication will play in the future of our National Response.

​Over the last weekend, the ease of restriction on places of worship came into focus. It is important to note that the guidelines gave states the latitude and the opportunity to negotiate protocols that meet their peculiarities.

We, therefore, urge our religious leaders and the entire populace to adhere to the guidelines issued by the PTF and the protocols agreed by the State Governments. The PTF continues to monitor compliance nationwide.

​The PTF wishes to emphasise that a great majority of Nigerians are still susceptible to COVID-19, and if we allow it to transmit easily between us, it may be even more deadly. If everyone diligently observes the guidelines, we can collectively control the spread of the virus, and help to protect our health facilities as well as save lives.

​On 6th June 2020, the PTF also visited the National Reference Laboratory to witness, first hand, the processes for testing. Experience, as it is said, is the best teacher. We can confirm that the process is rigorous, thorough and demanding. From the laboratories to the nurses, to our doctors and other medical personnel, enormous sacrifice is being made by these dedicated Nigerians.

​Ladies and Gentlemen, I have considered it important to reiterate the appreciation of the entire nation to all frontline workers who toil round the clock to ensure that we remain safe in this country. The visit has revealed the huge responsibilities shouldered by these young and committed professionals as well as the risks that they face on a daily basis.

​The visit also enabled the PTF listen to the challenges faced at the National Reference Lab and to recognise such challenges as opportunities because they represent motivations for action. The shortage of reagents and supply chain issues are global issues because the entire world is seeking to purchase the same commodities.

To the PTF, the motivation for action is to look inward, plan ahead and develop our domestic capacities. This is because COVID-19 is neither the first nor will it be the last pandemic. What is certain is that we must not allow the next pandemic to catch us unprepared.

The strategic thrust of the National Response is to test, test and test. However, the visit to the NRL has shown that while we ramp up capacity for testing, we must also enhance the skills and size of manpower to run the laboratories. Moving from two to a network of thirty technology-driven -laboratories and coordinating them is certainly not a small feat.

It is, therefore, significant to mention that a major outcome of the 100 days assessment is the recognition of the need for States to scale up responsibility for their public health response. In the medium to long term, we hope to build a network of state public health labs that will bring about sustainability in public health response in Nigeria.

​Since the commencement of our National Response, a lot of priority has been given to physical health management of people who are affected. I am pleased to inform you that PTF has commenced the process of integrating comprehensive psychological services program into its activities.

This will be for the benefit of people who are in isolation, the wellbeing of their families and communities. In this regard, we wish to recognise the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, FCT for spearheading this drive, which shall inevitably assume a national dimension because of the importance of mental health.

​As we mark the one hundred days after the index case, we remember all Nigerians who have passed away from the disease. We commiserate with their families and friends who have had to deal with the difficulty of losing their loved ones at this time. We pray that God will continue to console them and heal our land.

​At this point, ladies and gentlemen, the PTF appreciates the World Health Organisation (WHO), Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC), the West Africa Health Organisation, the United Nations family, the European Union and a host of other partners for the support we have received so far.

​Finally, I wish to state that in the absence of a vaccine, Nigeria and the rest of the world must depend on public health, social measures and supportive management of confirmed cases. We urge all Nigerians to take individual and collective responsibility by adhering to public health advice such as:

Frequent hand hygiene through handwashing or use of alcohol-based sanitizer;
Use of face mask in public places; and
Observe physical distancing of at least two metres.

​I now call on the Honourable Minister of Health, DG NCDC and the National Coordinator to update you, before we take the questions.

I thank you for listening.

Beware Of Relaxing Restrictions, Ensure No Gathering Of Over 20 Persons – SGF

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, gives a press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic in Abuja on April 29, 2020.

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, has asked states relaxing restrictions because of Sallah celebrations to exercise caution in doing so.

During the PTF’s brief on Thursday, Mr Mustapha urged all Nigerians to take personal responsibility during Sallah so as not to cancel the gains of the past weeks.

The SGF noted that states must ensure that there are no gatherings of over 20 persons.

He further asked state governments to ensure compliance to restriction guidelines and take community ownership to the grassroots.

READ ALSO: Buhari Signs Amendment To Executive Order On Voluntary Assets Regularization Scheme

Mr Mustapha apologised for any poor treatment meted out to all essential workers by security agents.

Giving some updates on trends within the nation as regards COVID-19, Mr Mustapha said it is troubling that hydroxychloroquin is being bought in large quantities in Nigeria, he stressed that this is not a tested cure for the virus and warned against self medication.

While noting that 106,000 cases were recorded worldwide on Wednesday, despite all interventions, the Chairman of the PTF was of the opinion that our ways of life will remain disrupted for a very long time.

In a bid to stress why COVID-19 should not be taken lightly, Mr Mustapha said he has lost a colleague to the disease and a classmate of his from ABU Zaria who was a Chief Judge.

“202 dead in Nigeria isn’t just statistics, these are people, Nigerians,” the SGF stressed.

The PTF Chairman said the issue of large gatherings must be looked into, warning that it is not yet time to allow crowds gather.

PTF Extends Gradual Easing Of COVID-19 Lockdown By Two Weeks

PTF Chairman, Mr Boss Mustapha, at a press briefing in Abuja on May 18, 2020.

 

 

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has extended the gradual easing of the lockdown by two weeks.

The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, announced this on Monday during the briefing of the members of the task force in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He said, “The reality is that in spite of the modest progress made, Nigeria is not yet ready for full opening of the economy and tough decisions have to be taken for the good of the greater majority.

“Any relaxation will only portend grave danger for our populace. Advisedly, the current phase of eased restriction will be maintained for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued.”

Mustapha explained that the extension of the first phase of the lockdown ease was to enable other segments of the economy to prepare adequately for compliance with the guidelines, preparatory to reopening in the coming weeks.

According to him, the PTF shares the pains of Nigerians but the future of the country is in their hands and subsequent decisions will depend greatly on their compliance.

The PTF chairman also disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved some recommendations of the task force.

He said, “​The measures, exemptions, advisories, and scope of entities allowed to reopen under phase one of the eased locked down, shall be maintained across the federation for another two weeks effective from 12 midnight of May 18 to June 1.”

Other recommendations approved by the President include ​intensifying efforts to communicate, identify, and manage COVID-19 cases; and ​elevating the level of community ownership of non-pharmaceutical interventions.

The lockdown order in Kano State, according to the SGF, has also been extended by another two weeks.

He noted that the President had announced a phased and gradual easing of the lockdown in Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory in his nationwide broadcast on April 27.

Mustapha added that the President also highlighted the additional nationwide measures aimed at ensuring that the nation’s economy continued to function within the limiting constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

N792.1m Has Been Paid Into COVID-19 Eradication Support Account – SGF

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, has revealed that the sum of 792.1 million naira has been paid into the Eradication Support Account to curb the spread of the pandemic in the country.

Mr Mustapha made the disclosure during the daily briefing by members of the PTF on Friday.

“I am pleased to report that the Office of the Accountant General has published details of inflow into the Federal Government COVID-19 Eradication Support Account.

“As of 14th May 2020, the sum of 792, 121, 613. 89 naira has been credited into the TSA account from the various E-country sources”.

He explained that the disclosure was predicated on the fact that the committee had promised to make all-cash donations public and in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on accountability and transparency.

PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha

The PTF chairman commended individuals and corperate organisations who have been donating funds into the account.

” I particularly want to commend the sacrifice of some ordinary Nigerians who have donated as low as one naira, which for us comes from a pure heart.

“As we progress in the battle of COVID-19, the PTF wishes to extend its appreciation to several other groups that have been supportive in the discharge of its mandate”.

The PTF Chairman recognised the efforts of security agencies that have been helping in enforcing the laws, such as the police, DSS, CDI and para-military services in maintaining security and helping to carry out enforcements as well as staying in the frontline.

He also thanked the NAF for their support in providing airlifting logistics.

“I also wish to commend the Nigerian Air Force for providing the airlift logistics that has made it easy for surveillance and search support mobilisation by the PTF and NCDC”.

Mr Mustapha commended COVID-19 survivors who have been sharing their experiences but strongly discouraged giving details of treatment as this could encourage self-medication.

He called on hospitals to keep offering services to non-COVID-19 related patients.

[ICYMI] COVID-19: Isolation Centres Are Running Out of Bed Spaces – SGF

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has said that isolation and treatment centres in the country are running out of bed spaces.

He revealed this on Friday during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

The SGF, however, noted that efforts are being intensified to increase the number of treatment centres in the country.

“We have received reports from the states, which suggests that the treatment centres are running out of bed spaces. As we assess the situation, the PTF shall also begin to examine our peculiar circumstances, modify the strategies for care management, and consider viable alternatives, where necessary. At the appropriate time, the guidelines and protocols shall be unfolded,” he said.

Meanwhile, he also noted that as of Thursday, May 7, the country recorded the highest number of cases in a single day.

While admitting that the situation might be worrisome, he, however, noted that it is largely a function of the country’s improved testing capacity.

The SGF also added that the number of infections does not translate to an increased fatality rate.

Speaking about the level of compliance to guidelines on the easing of the lockdown, Mustapha said the PTF has met with heads of security agencies and asked them to ensure strict enforcement of the inter-state travel restrictions as part of efforts to curb the community transmission of the pandemic.

SGF Calls For Unity, Says COVID-19 Fight Is For All Nigerians

Mr Boss Mustapha says the task force will enhance non-pharmaceutical measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

 

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has called for unity in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.

Mustapha, who is the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, made the call in his opening remark at the briefing of the team on Monday in Abuja.

He said, “Let me remind all Nigerians that the fight against COVID-19 is a fight for all of us. It is only when we unite that victory can be assured in the next phase of this fight.

“It is time for us to individually and collectively take responsibilities for the next steps that we are going to take in days and weeks ahead.”

The SGF noted that the extension of the lockdown order issued by the President in the three cities of Lagos, Ogun, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would lapse on Monday.

He hinted that the Minister of Health and the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) met with the President on Sunday.

The task force chairman also revealed that the team has continued to assess the situation across the country and an appropriate report has been submitted to President Buhari.

According to him, the team is making adequate efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and is working in collaboration with relevant agencies.

“It is expected that once a decision is made, Mr President would address Nigerians on further measures to be taken later today.

“The PTF shall continue to pursue the strategy of aggressive testing, detection, isolation, contact tracing, care, and management,” Mustapha stated.

He added, “Similar, non-pharmaceutical measures will be enhanced. Over the last four weeks, we have made appreciable progress, but we are not yet out of the woods because a lot more is required to be done.

“Nigerians at all levels must take responsibility for their actions, adopt behavioural modification, ensure compliance for advisories, and provide guidance to our followers and the youth.”

On the death reports in Kano, the SGF stressed that the situation was being addressed closely by the NCDC in partnership with the state government and guidance by the Federal Ministry of Health.

PTF Has Received Life Insurance Cover For All COVID-19 Frontline Workers – SGF

 

 

The Nigerian government has received a life insurance cover for all frontline workers in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This was revealed by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, during a briefing in Abuja on Friday.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), explained that this was the contribution of the nation’s insurance industry to the effort towards curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“I am pleased to inform you that in addition to what the Federal Government is doing, the insurance industry has responded massively to the call for support.

“The Presidential Task Force has received a life insurance cover to all frontline workers on COVID-19 for a maximum of 5,000 health workers who are employed to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in his opening remarks at the briefing.

The task force chairman added, “The premium, in the sum of N112,500,000 for cover, has been fully paid by the Nigeria Insurance Industry, in line with the principle of no premium, no cover.”

He thanked the insurance industry for the contribution and called on other sectors of the economy to rise up to support the effort to fight COVID-19.

Mustapha also assured the frontline workers to double their efforts, saying the government was committed to protecting them in the course of discharging their duty.

He specifically asked the health workers not to relent, noting that the Federal Government has put in place measures to ensure their welfare was taken care of.

The SGF said, “Today, the welfare of our frontline heroes – the health workers – came to the front burner

“I am pleased to inform you that the Federal Ministry of Health, working in conjunction with the MDAs, and the health sector professional bodies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for various allowances and other incentives.”

SGF, Anglican Primate Ask Nigerians To Intensify Prayers Against COVID-19

L-R: The SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, with the Anglican Primate, Archbishop Henry Ndukuba, at a meeting in Abuja on April 20, 2020.

 

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, has appealed to Nigerians, especially the religious leaders to intensify their prayers against coronavirus.

He urged the people to pray to God for his intervention in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Mustapha, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, made the appeal when he received a delegation of religious leaders on Monday in Abuja.

The delegation led by the Anglican Primate, Archbishop Henry Ndukuba, was on a solidarity visit to the SGF on the efforts of the task force to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Mustapha, the pandemic would have long destroyed Nigeria if not for God’s intervention.

He commended the delegation for the visit, describing the church as a place to seek comfort at trouble times such as this.

The SGF stated that it was time to pray more and there was no other better time for the church to show love to the people affected by the outbreak.

In his response, the Anglican Primate also called on the Christian community to intensify in their prayers against the pandemic.

He urged them to be their brothers’ keeper and exercise some patients with the Federal Government and others in the forefront battling coronavirus.

Archbishop Ndukuba told the SGF that the delegation’s visit was to declare its support for the various decisions taken by the PTF.

He explained that they have also come to donate some medical consumables, including hand sanitisers, hand gloves, and masks to the fight against COVID-19.

Members of the delegation also used the opportunity to convey their condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari on the death of his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.

This Is Not The Time To Resist COVID-19 Lockdown, FG Appeals To Nigerians

A file photo of the SGF, Boss Mustapha, addressing a press conference in Abuja.

 

 

As the country battles to contain COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government has appealed to Nigerians to comply with the lockdown directive and not resist or encourage others to resist it.

The Chairman Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, made this appeal on Wednesday while briefing Nigerians on the measures to combat the virus.

Mustapha noted that even President Muhammadu Buhari attested to the fact that the restriction of movement is a difficult decision but it is essential in the interest of every Nigerian.

“The President himself attests to the fact that it is a difficult, painful decision, a decision that must be taken in the interest of the people of Nigeria. We are cognisance of the fact that our social life has been disrupted by the lockdown.

“Our constant appeal to the people of Nigeria is to see the long-term gain that will come out of this temporary dislocation in our communal life and try all possible to accommodate the processes put in place by the Federal Government.

“So, this is not the time to encourage resistance to the lockdown. This is the time to appeal to our people to respect the advice that has come out from experts, state ad federal government,” the PTF Chairman said.

He also noted that the decision by the Federal Government and some state governments to restrict movement is not done in isolation as it is done in every other country combatting the virus.

“We are not operating in isolation, we see what is happening all over the world and how some governments have reacted. Some countries have been on lockdown for the past one month, and they are not thinking about lifting the lockdown,” he added.

As at Thursday, April 16, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria is 407 with 34 new cases confirmed by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday night.