Meanwhile, the Federal Government is set to address testing deficit by establishing one sample collection centre per local government area. This is even as it announced the suspension of all unnecessary travel for meetings by government official till further notice.
It disclosed that a sample collection centre had been set up at ThisDay Dome, Abuja, and all government hospitals in the FCT have been designated as sample collection centres.
It also said the visit of some media houses, over the weekend, to the Asokoro Observation Centre and their interaction with some patients should give Nigerians the comfort to get tested and treated, if necessary.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), chairman of Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said this at the briefing of the task force, yesterday.
He stressed that contracting COVID-19 was not a death sentence, but not presenting oneself for testing or treatment when symptoms become obvious could lead to death.
Mustapha said all government or board meetings should be conducted virtually, until further notice.
The SGF reiterated the call for Nigerians to remain vigilant, as the pandemic would not go away by a wish, neither would it go away if people refused to keep safe.
On the case management deficit, Mustapha said focus was on having enough oxygen nationwide as the number of hospitalised persons increased. Concerning the country’s testing deficit, he said that the plan was to establish one sample collection centre per local government area.
“Underlying the above, as a cross-cutting initiative, is an enhanced risk communication strategy designed not only to educate the citizenry on the virulence of the virus and individual and collective roles butm more importantlym to tackle the deliberate mis-information being bandied around, especially in the social media.
“An enhanced risk communication strategy becomes inevitable when we realise that, within the last 24 hours, the world witnessed the largest single day cases of 230,370 while in Nigeria the last week recorded the highest weekly fatality of 70 deaths,” Mustapha said.
The PTF chair said the rising fatalities in Nigeria was not unconnected with denial and delay in seeking help.
On the controversy surrounding school resumption, the SGF said: “The PTF has followed with keen interest the conversation around the resumption of schools. We recognise that our children are precious and we would not do anything to compromise their safety.
He added that the Federal Ministry of Education had released guidelines for schools and learning facilities’ reopening after COVID-19 pandemic closure, and the guidelines clearly spelt out major things to consider before schools and learning facilities could reopen, the reopening process, sequencing and scheduling of safe reopening and decisions about school reopening.