President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed appreciation to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and all those in the frontlines for working so hard to contain the unseen enemy, coronavirus, in Nigeria.
The president also appreciated individuals and organisations that have contributed in cash and kind, towards addressing the challenge posed by the pandemic.
Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, also the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, disclosed this to Journalists on Sunday, after he led some members of the task force to the Presidential Villa on Sunday evening to brief the Nigerian leader on their activities.
He said: “The President expressed his appreciation to all the agencies that have contributed to where we are today, inspite of the difficulties and the fact that as a nation, we lack the capable infrastructure, looking at what is happening to the developed world, where countries that have traditionally established health institutions, with all the palliatives, privileges and schemes that guard their people have crumbled at the wreck of COVID-19 but we are still standing, doing our best in the circumstances, to ensure that at least we provide the necessary direction.”
Boss Mustapha said during the meeting with the President, the task force presented proposals that would help defeat the coronavirus pandemic as well as address similar challenges in future.
“What proposals we have brought today for the consideration of the President, looking at it holistically, it will put us in a better frame to deal with the future because we are in for as long haul. This is not a short distance, it’s a marathon and we have to keep everything in perspective,” he said.
The task force Chairman however, said that there were concerns about the way Nigerians responded to the guidelines of the relaxation of the lockdown, as many were not adhering to the guidelines.
Mustapha said the entire community must take responsibility, in order to defeat COVID-19.
“What we intend to do now as a task force is to come down to the level of having the community step ownership of the response. Let the communities acknowledge the fact that there is a COVID-19 that is deadly and can ravage their health and their wealth.
“The most important thing is for them to do is to begin to take personal responsibility on dealing with it. All of them should be overseers of their communities, they should watch out for people who have symptoms, and present them for testing and isolation. That way you pluck them out of the communities and you reduce the risk of further transmission,” the SGF stated.
The lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory was relaxed for an initial period of two weeks on May 4 to expire on Monday May 18. With Sunday’s briefing by the task force, it is expected that government will issue new directives after the expiration of the lockdown order on Monday.