…Says ongoing strike by health workers very costly
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has declared that the country’s national response, the use of science, data and experience from other countries, the curve of COVID-19 pandemic is flattening.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic, Boss Mustapha, stated this at Thursday’s briefing in Abuja.
This is even as the task force marks six months of the country’s national response from 17th March, 2020 since the PTF was inaugurated.
According to Mustapha, with the world cases now at 30,026,460, Africa with cumulatively 1,380,223 cases, Nigeria with 56,604 cases, and with India crossing the five million cases mark, as at Thursday, the numbers are reminders that the country‘s national response needs to remain top notch, build stronger and more unified global collaborative efforts to overcome the virus.
The SGF said: “These numbers are reminders that point to the need to gird our loins tightly in our national response and build stronger and more unified global collaborative efforts to overcome the virus. Again, we reiterate the underlying objectives of the UN General Assembly resolution calling for global collaboration as the most veritable vehicle to fight the virus.
“Looking back at our National Response, using science, data and experience from other countries, we cannot but say that tremendous progress has been made and that we are beginning to notice that the curve is flattening.
“However, as we have always stated, this positive development shall be taken with vigilance and cautious optimism. This is based on the fact that we are convinced that we have not tested enough, we have only recently reopened our international flights and that nations that had opened up their economies have done a re-think following the resurgence of the cases in their countries.”
Mustapha again appealed to the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to suspend its nationwide strike, saying the strike has cost human lives.
He said: “Let me once again send a strong appeal to all health workers particularly, JOHESU members, that the nation can ill-afford any further disruption to its health systems. “The on-going strike has been very costly in terms of human lives but such losses can be avoided. Government shall continue to do its best to push through the negotiations with the unions and hopefully, reason shall prevail.”
The SGF said the nation’s 60th Independence Anniversary will celebrated under the new normal.
The PTF chair said: “The nation will be celebrating her 60th diamond anniversary on 1st October, 2020. This is a landmark celebration and the programmes will be unveiled by Monday next week. This celebration is also significant because we are in the middle of a pandemic. We have together participated in this National Response and also recognised that this year, 2020, has been trying for humanity. This celebration should therefore be both joyous and reflective for us all. We urge you to remain mindful of the fact that there is a new normal and that the COVID-19 is virulent and dangerous. We urge you to continue to take responsibility.”