The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said the federal government was yet to take a position on the decision by all the 36 state governors for an interstate lockdown.
Speaking on Thursday, Mustapha said the PTF would meet and take a holistic look at all proposals before making its recommendation to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This will not be taken in isolation. I am assuring you we are working in synergy with the state governors and some national entities. By the time we are through with this phase, going into the third phase, it will be a more collaborative effort and that will have taken into consideration the inputs and interests of many segments of our society,” Mustapha said.
Mustapha also spoke on the warning by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that a further extension of the lockdown imposed on the FCT as well as Lagos and Ogun States could lead to a breakdown of law and order.
He said although he received a letter from NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, the labour leader as a representative of the working class should be aware that lockdown is a global issue.
The SGF also said Nigeria had received from the China-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce a cheque of N48,120,000 for the COVID-19 Support Fund.
He said the money, which was presented yesterday by the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Zhou Pingjian, was a gesture that underscored the deep relationship between Nigeria and China.
He also said China had also informed the PTF that the third phase of the medical supplies from the government of China was ready for airlift.
He expressed concern about the pandemic in Kano State, saying the PTF had instructed the NCDC to proceed to Kano and, in conjunction with the state government, mobilise for immediate contacts tracing to contain the spread of the disease.
Mustapha said: “The situation in Kano is still being assessed and monitored closely. Based on preliminary findings, the PTF has directed the NCDC to send an enhanced support team, mobilise resources for contact tracing and immediately ensure that necessary steps are taken in conjunction with the state government to contain the spread of the pandemic in Kano and stop the city from becoming the next epicentre.”
He also expressed concerns about the refusal of private healthcare facilities to comply with the directive for accreditation by the Federal Ministry of Health before commencing treatment of cases related to COVID-19, noting that this posed serious danger, not just to the health and life of the personnel working in such facilities, but to those of their loved ones as well as the general public.