TOYIN ADEBAYO, ABUJA
Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of Health has said that the value of the tentative easing of the lockdown by President Muhammadu Buhari depends largely on Nigerians adherence to the Presidential Task Force guidelines, Saying, this is even more critical, as the restrictions have been relaxed.
Ehanire made this known at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, while adding that we are clearly in community transmission phase, where much now depends on individual and collective behaviour and the urgency of behavior change communication becomes apparent.
The minister further stated that, Knowledge so far gathered about COVID-19 needs to be converted into practice, because our safety, now more than ever, depends on all of us.
He urged Nigerians to adhere to public health advisories (wearing our face masks, observing social distancing, practicing hand washing or sanitizing, standard respiratory hygiene, avoiding crowded places and all manner of non-essential travel, as well as reporting when we feel unwell, or someone close to us has symptoms of Infection. If not, we expose ourselves and our loved ones to risk and inadvertently increase the period this virus will be with us and make life worse for all of us. For example, large crowds reported at certain events and the movement and repatriation of persons from one State to the other, do contribute to the problem and do not indicate a good understanding of the urgency of the situation. Therefore, I again appeal for considerate and responsible social adjustment to the challenges Nigeria faces.
According to him, while we are striving to increase our testing capacity, we have noted the complaints about turn around time to get the results of tests conducted. We are doing what we can to resolve them. We have also continued to train and retrain our health care workers as well as provide them with the necessary personal protective equipment.
“Community mobilizers have been deployed at the grassroots to continue to sensitize our people through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency. I participated earlier this week in a teleconference of Northern Traditional Leaders Committee organized by NPHCDA, in which the need for urgent engagement of all traditional, religious and community gatekeepers was emphasized and agreed on.
“We are encouraging and supporting States to increase the number of isolation centres nationwide, and we are extremely grateful to Corporate Organizations and Philanthropists who have donated Isolation facilities, diagnostic equipment, commodities and sundry supplies relevant to our response efforts to COVID-19 threat. One example is the This day Dome, which has been purposed by donors, to be a 320 bed Isolation Center with a 10 bed ICU, which is to be commissioned next week to significantly ease the supply of bed spaces.
“With regard to Kano, progress has been made in collaboration efforts with the State EOC to restore routine medical services to hospitals and further drive the ongoing investigations.
“Organized ambulance service is already in operation bringing relief to citizens who need to access medical services, especially in view of restrictions of movement and also in emergency situations.
The Fedeal Ministry of Health is sending supporting teams to Sakoto and Katsina for training and capacity building in case management and Infection prevention and control in the hospital setting. Other States shall follow at short intervals, to assist the State Ministries of Heakth in their response to the COVID-19 threat.”, he explained.
I also wish to appreciate the efforts of traditional rulers and religious leaders in sensitizing our people to the importance of compliance with COVID-19 infection prevention measures.
He also, thanked all frontline and backroom workers- health care givers, hygienists, security, drivers, porters and others, for their tireless efforts and to continue to adhere to self protection regulations.
He also commended all citizens for adhering to the infection, prevention and control and non pharmaceutical intervention advisories.