COVID-19: PTF scales up activities around risk communication

Rahilla Lassa, Abuja

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The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 briefs President Muhammadu Buhari on 29th June 2020 at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the FCT

COVID-19: PTF

As the Nigerian Government extends the phase two of the eased lockdown by four weeks, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 says it has escalated its activities around risk communications.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Nigeria, Boss Mustapha said this at the daily joint press briefing, in Abuja Nigeria.

The SGF also said that the PTF in conjunction with sub-national entities, the organized private sector, put in place a number of measures.

But we have observed with growing concern the non-compliances with these measures designed to prevent transmission and protect vulnerable segments of the population.”

“We hold the strong view that if such actions do not abate, experiences of resurgence of the virus from other jurisdictions including China, the United States of America, Brazil and across Europe may emerge in Nigeria and we run the risk of erasing the gains made in the last three months.” He said.

He also noted that in furtherance of strengthening the National Response, the PTF in the intervening period vigorously built partnerships locally and internationally.

Similarly, we fully have decentralised the National Response with State Governments and communities taking ownership and more responsibility. These efforts have greatly improved our ability to maximally detect, trace, isolate and treat nationwide successfully”.

INTERVENTIONS

i. Aggressive scaling up of efforts to ensure effective community protection and sensitisation; and
ii. Increased provision of support and guidance to states in their response to the outbreak.

ROLES OF STATE GOVERNMENTS

i. The spread has entered the community phase which only States and LGAs should drive;
ii. The inaction of a particular State could endanger its neighbours and compromise the entirety of the response;
iii. States will be encouraged to make considerable efforts to ensure a push for compliance within the guidelines issued by the PTF;
iv. States must also take greater care in leading on public health measures in the LGAs under their jurisdiction, by working on surveillance, case finding, testing, isolation, tracing and quarantining contacts; and
v. FG will predicate its resource deployment to States on the level of compliance and the extent of collaboration received on this public health emergency.
10.Notwithstanding the challenges faced in the last one month and the fact that Nigeria’s statistics have been on the rise, substantial progress has been made in the following areas:
i. Harnessing of data, which shows that 60% of the confirmed cases are in a handful of local governments in the country (18 out of 774 LGAs nationwide), and putting in place targeted interventions;
ii. Increased capacity to detect, test and trace those infected with the virus,
through the activation of 38 molecular testing laboratories, resulting in raising the test count nationwide in excess of 130,000;
iii. A shift in focus to a targeted community-based approach, enhanced risk communication;
iv. Increased collaboration with the legislature, State Governments and the organised private sector;
v. Activation of a new, cost-effective policy on the evacuation of returning Nigerians;
vi. Increased awareness of COVID-19 among the population;
vii. Cushioning the socio-economic impact of the restrictions through the provision of palliatives to vulnerable members of various communities nationwide; and
viii. Successful re-opening sectors of the economy despite initial challenges in areas such as the banking sector, industry and agriculture.

AREAS OF CONCERN:

i. International travel;
ii. Entertainment activities;
iii. Educational services/sector; and
iv. Public and Private Sector offices.

Titi B

Read Also: COVID-19: Nigeria extends eased lockdown

 

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