Nigerian Presidential Task Force for the control of corona virus on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, held its inaugural meeting and made public resolutions reached at the meeting. They include:
- The general public has been strongly advised to cancel or postpone all non-essential travel – whether for business or pleasure – abroad, especially to “high-risk countries.”
- These high risk countries include the following:
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- All official travel by public officials and civil servants has been banned “until further notice.” Approvals previously granted for such travel are accordingly rescinded or cancelled.
- The federal government has urged everyone traveling to Nigeria or returning to Nigeria from abroad to strictly self-isolate for 14 days in their homes.
- Everyone traveling or returning to Nigeria from countries with high Community Transmission Rates (especially countries with 1,000 cumulative cases and above) will be actively followed up for 14 days by the Health Authorities (Health authorities here refer to the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Center for Disease Control–NCDC).
- The federal government has also urged the general public to maintain social distancing and avoid crowded places.
- Everyone is expected to adhere to strict personal and respiratory hygiene practices like, washing of hands regularly with soap and running water, and using alcohol based hand sanitizers where water is not readily available.
The Federal government had inaugurated on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, a Presidential Task Force for the control of the novel corona virus (COVID-19). Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation stated that the inauguration of the task force by President Muhammadu Buhari was in line with monitoring developments around the globe on the corona virus pandemic. Composition of the Task Force include Nigerian Ministers of Health, Foreign Affairs, Education, Environment, Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Interior, Information, and Aviation as members. Other members include the Director General of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organization representative in Nigeria, and the Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS).
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A National Coordinator for Corona Virus, in the person of Dr. Sani Aliyu, was equally appointed by the Presidency and is also a member of the Task Force which went into a closed door meeting after inauguration and reached the resolutions mentioned above. Ensuring cohesion in carrying out roles assigned to different agencies is one of the duties of the national coordinator, while the Task Force is chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Boss Mustapha noted that the response to the pandemic by different countries of the world is strong indication that corona virus is a threat to humanity, and Nigeria must act firmly, scientifically, and methodically in approaching the situation. The Task Force which is meant to last for a period of six months has its major roles as:
- Strengthening the national response strategy, particularly in the area of testing, containment and management of corona virus
- Building awareness among the populace.
Further, the Task Force can also play an advisory role to the government in declaring national emergency as part of containment measures when relevant, and deployment of any important national asset when necessary.
Featured Image Source: @NCDCgov – Twitter
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