Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) in a bid to assist the Federal Government scale up its COVID-19 response has formally hand over 126 units of patient monitors and 63 units of oxygen concentrators to 21 healthcare institutions across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The move is part of NSIA’s COVID-19 relief programme as the country battles the second wave of the pandemic.
With the nation’s economy still in recovery, the relief equipment is expected to add to the current stock of critical medical equipment required for the containment of the virus in Nigeria.
The supply of oxygen concentrators and patient monitors is expected to boost government’s efforts to provide an efficient and effective healthcare response for those affected by the virus.
The shortage of oxygen concentrators and patient monitors had slowed government’s ability in providing an efficient and effective healthcare response for those affected by the virus during the first wave of the pandemic.
As of Wednesday, the country recorded 1,861 new cases in 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory taking the total confirmed cases to 126,160.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had disclosed that 22 persons died of the virus on Wednesday bringing the number of deaths to 1,544 so far.
Speaking at the virtual handing over ceremony, yesterday, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the COVID-19 pandemic has had huge negative impact on the global community disrupting well established health care systems.
Mustapha, who is also the chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, said since the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria, the Federal Government had taken stringent measures to combat the spread of the virus.
He listed some of the measures so far taken to check the spread of the virus to include the ban on flights, the imposition of curfew, nationwide lockdown, and compulsory wearing of face masks.
However, despite these measures, the SGF lamented that the lack of compliance with non-pharmaceutical measures had compelled government to issue the Coronavirus Disease Health Protection Regulation of 2021 which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 26.
He also said the Federal Government had rehabilitated oxygen plants and will be constructing one each in every state of the federation to boost its response to the pandemic.
Mustapha told the participants at the virtual launch that the Federal Government will not rest until it ensures the battle against the pandemic is won.
“We know our nation is at war with this pervasive enemy and we will ensure the virus won’t spread further.
“We are happy that the NSIA has assisted in providing these facilities and this equipment is a welcome development. It could not have come at a better time,” he said.
He charged the healthcare centres that got the facilities to ensure they are deployed in a manner that would help save the lives of Nigerians.
He said: “This administration will continue to come up with measure to stop the spread of the virus. We cannot stop the spread if we fail to take responsibility.
“To those in doubt, COVID-19 is real, wear your face mask, maintain social distancing and if you can, do not travel. I want us to treat everyone as a potential carrier of COVID-19.”
The SGF commended the frontline health workers for their zeal and commitment in fighting the battle against the virus.
Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, commended the NSIA for its intervention in the healthcare centres in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital; Federal Medical Centre Umuahia and the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano.
The minister said with the success so far recorded by the NSIA in the running of these centres, the Federal Government would be studying the model with a view to adopting it.
He said while the nation’s healthcare system is not where the government wants it to be, the NSIA model in the healthcare sector would help the country have a good healthcare system.
He said the government would also be working closely with the NSIA to reverse the