By Olawale Ajimotokan
The Federal government has inaugurated a Presidential Task for the control of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, who inaugurated the Task Force on Tuesday, said its composition by President Muhammadu Buhari was necessitated by monitoring of developments around the world on the outbreak of the contagion.
The Task Force has as members the Ministers of Health, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Aviation, Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Education, Information, Environment and Minister of State for Health.
Others are the DG DSS, DG National Centre for Disease Control and World Health Organization representative in Nigeria.
Mustapha also announced the appointment of a National Coordinator for Coronavirus control, Dr Sani Aliyu, as a member of the Task Force.
The national coordinator will be responsible for cohesion and efficiency in the roles by the different agencies, operating in treatment of the national response strategy.
The Task Force is to be chaired by the SGF.
The members of the Task Force immediately went into a closed door meeting after the inauguration.
Mustapha said given that the actions by different countries all over the world indicated that COVID – 19 is a threat to humanity, Nigeria’s response must also be firm, scientific and methodical.
The time line for the activities of the Task Force is six month. In addition, its term of reference include strengthening the national response strategy, particularly in the area of testing, containment and management of Coronavirus and building awareness among the populace.
The Task Force can also advise government to declare a national emergency as part of the containment measures when necessary and direct the deployment of any relevant national assets when deemed expedient.