Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), has disclosed that about 80 percent of the 14,906 Nigerian evacuees are youths for which only 684 tested positive to the Coronavirus out of the 13,844 so far tested.
It has also celebrated the reports of zero mortality recorded on Wednesday, 12th August, in the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, of PTF on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, made this disclosure at Thursday’s briefing of the taskforce.
According to him, more evacuees would be received from different parts of the world.
He has also lauded the United States of America for making good the promise made by President Donald Trump to donate medical equipment, including 200 ventilators to Nigeria as support in the fight against the COVID-19.
He said: “He said that Nigeria recognizes the fact that the pandemic is a global challenge and particularly, has impacted the United States of America in several ways, yet the bond of friendship has prevailed.
He said, “This sacrifice and support to Nigeria is very much appreciated. I want to assure the Government and people of the United States that these ventilators, like other materials received from our various partners, would be judiciously deployed and transparently managed.”
Mustapha reiterated that government has made available in the Economic Sustainability Plan, a stimulus package in the sum of N2.6 trillion to boost local economies, production and for all sizes of businesses including small family businesses to cushion the economic effects of the pandemic.
He noted the global pursuit in search for a vaccine with over 1000 trials on-going and different claims of levels of success.
“We note particularly, the announcement by the President of Russia on the breakthrough in the development of a vaccine even as we study the developments.
“Fighting the pandemic successfully will take a global effort and Nigeria will not be left out whenever and where ever progress is made. However, the health and safety of Nigerians will always remain our priority in the pursuit of a solution,” the SGF said.
The PTF chairman assured that for Nigeria, the government shall remain focused on propagating the use of proven avoidance methods to break the transmission of the virus and effective case management to care for and treat infected persons.
He also said that the ravaging effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy should provide more compelling reasons for the nation to leave no stone un-turned in fighting this pandemic.
Mustapha said, “This week, the United Kingdom would be going into a recession after its economy suffered a slump in growth by a record 20 percent in the second quarter. I wish to remind all Nigerians that ahead of such occurrence, our Government had put in place an Economic Sustainability Plan backed by a stimulus package in the sum of N2.6trn to boost local economies, production and for all sizes of businesses including small family businesses.
“I therefore urge our businesses to take advantage of the stimulus package to revive and/or boost their businesses. We cannot afford to let our economy slide.”
Mustapha noted that fewer numbers of confirmed cases have been recorded in the last two weeks, but that this should never be misconstrued as victory over the virus.
“There is still a serious battle to be fought ahead of us as a people and as a country. It is, important, therefore, that we continue to build on our successes and not do anything to detract from them,” he said. Mustapha said that the nation’s Risk Communication and Community Engagement messaging and consultations have been intensified, to drive the level of awareness and compliance to the wider population using media and platforms that are most effective generally and specifically.
He therefore urged all Nigerians to exercise caution and restraint at all times.
The SGF also said that the taskforce is pleased to associate with the celebration of the International Youth Day 2020 under the theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action” which seeks to recognize the immense contributions and role of young people in achieving sustainable peace and development across all levels.
“Implicit in this is the need to galvanise engagement of youths to significantly enhance peacebuilding to promote social cohesion in this era of social distancing and collective fight in containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The PTF appreciates all our young people who have stepped out and are contributing to the fight against the pandemic and implore others yet to do so, to join this fight with all the necessary passion their youthful energy can bring to bear,” he said.