Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on coronavirus, Boss Mustapha has pledged that details of all the monies donated by various individuals and corporate entities will be fully given at appropriate time.
Speaking today, May 18 in Abuja, at the usual briefing on the progress so far attained in the control of the virus, Boss Mustapha, who is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said: “I, in addition, explained the processes for other components so that Nigerians can be assured that accountability remains the hallmark of this administration and the PTF.
“All monies donated are safe and secure and would be judiciously utilised and accounted for.”
He recalled that last week, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation introduced the transparency dimensions in the management of certain components of financial donations by publishing the receipts in the newspapers.
He said that the the outcomes of the first phase of the eased lockdown have been mixed, saying that while some objectives were met, assessment showed that non-compliance was rampant but that the PTF continued to persuade the populace through its messaging and daily briefing, on the need to take responsibility.
“The PTF considers it important to let you know that it has relied largely on science, statistics, lessons learnt from other parts of the world and an evaluation of our peculiar circumstances to draw its conclusions on the outcome of the last two weeks.
“For example, our surveillance, infection prevention and control activities identified nine high burden local government areas in the federation reporting high number of cases and accounting for 51% of the total number of infections in the country. All the nine are densely populated local government areas nationwide.
“We have also seen that though Nigeria’s caseload still lags behind several other countries, our large population and relatively high degree of mobility and urbanisation 50 percentplaces us at an increased risk for high transmissibility. Therefore, our consideration of ease of restrictions has to balance lives and livelihoods and the slow and gradually phased approach should be science and data driven.
“To arrive at our final recommendations to Mr. President, we objectively and frankly interrogated certain critical factors and wish to inform you as follows:
- Is the transmission of the virus under control: –
Measures put in place have collectively slowed down the transmission of the Virus e.g. elongating the doubling time which has changed from 7 to 11 days;
- Is the health care system equipped to detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every person who came in contact with a positive case: Health care system has been better equipped to detect, test, isolate and treat every case, and trace every person who came into contact with a positive case with the increase in the number of laboratories from 15 to 26; ramping up of testing to a cumulative total of 35,098;
iii. Are outbreaks minimized in special settings like health facilities and Nursing homes: Though we have recorded infection of a number of medical personnel in our facilities, which is not peculiar to Nigeria, we have increased their training in care management and provided additional Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE);
- Are there measures in workplaces and schools to prevent the spread of the virus: With the gradual reopening of workplaces, markets, schools, etc, prescriptions have been made for the prevention of infection and spread of the virus;
- Are the risks of importing more cases from outside the country being managed: The risks associated with importation has been seriously minimised with the ban flights, closure of borders and the mandatory 14 days quarantine for any one arriving Nigeria; and
- Are local communities educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the ‘new norm’: “Engagement with communities and other stakeholders has now become the new focus of our strategy
“The inevitable conclusion of the PTF, is that the fight against COVID-19 is long term as the virus is not likely to go away very soon. This is further underscored by the fact that no vaccine is expected till around the end of 2021. Nigeria is not where we wish to be in terms of control, ownership, infrastructure and change of behavior. We must do more.”
Boss Mustapha recalled that last week, PTF hinted about the refocusing of its policy on community ownership, adding: “we shall intensify the mobilization of individuals, especially the communities to take ownership of this fight. This will be accompanied by a corresponding development of infrastructure and other Public health measures to be undertaken in every community and at every phase of the response. These include: surveillance, case finding, testing, isolation, tracing and quarantining contacts.”
He said that 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. 26.Advisedly, the current phase of eased restriction will be maintained for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued.
“The two weeks extension of Phase one of the eased restriction is also to enable other segments of the economy prepare adequately for compliance with the guidelines, preparatory to reopening in the coming weeks. For the PTF, we share your pains but our future is in the hands of every Nigerian and future decisions will depend greatly on our compliance.
“Based on the recommendations of the PTF, Mr. President has approved the following:
- i) 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 00 midnight today (18th May, 2020 to 1st June, 2020);
- ii) intensifying efforts to “tell (communicate), trace (identify) and treat (manage)’ cases;
iii) elevating the level of community ownership of non-pharmaceutical interventions;
iv)Maintain the existing lockdown order in Kano for an additional two weeks;
v)Imposition of precision lockdown in states, or in metropolitan/high-burden LGAs, that are reporting a rapidly increasing number of cases, when the need arises. This would be complemented with the provision of palliatives and continued re-evaluation of the impact of the interventions; and
vi) Aggressive scale up of efforts to ensure that communities are informed, engaged and participating in the response with enhanced public awareness in high risk states.
“Specific implementation guidelines would be communicated by the National Coordinator during this press briefing and would be circulated through the conventional and social media.
“For sustainability of the gains recorded, the PTF shall continue to support states by developing guidelines to shape decision-making for future steps in the response and aggressively scale up efforts to ensure effective community information.”