PTF on COVID-19 Chairman, Boss Mustapha.
…Vows to fish our hoodlums who attacked Kogi hospital
By Omeiza Ajayi
The federal government on Thursday went spiritual in its bid to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying it has partnered with the Nigerian Interreligious Council NIREC to declare a season of prayer and fasting in the country.
Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce PTF on Covid-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha disclosed this during the daily briefing of the Taskforce in Abuja.
The SGF added that schools have not been reopened, explaining that only those in exit classes have been asked to return for revision, preparatory to writing their terminal examinations.
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Prayer and fasting
According to the SGF, it has become pertinent to call on Nigerians to seek the face of God in order to end the pandemic.
”In furtherance of the synergy being built, the Co-Chairmen of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council NIREC, His Eminence Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, the Sultan of Sokoto/President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and His Eminence Rev. Dr. Samson O. A. Ayokunle, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, would be directing Muslim and Christian adherents all over the country to go in for a period of fasting and prayer.
“The NIREC will announce the details and we urge all Nigerians to participate in this effort to seek divine intervention”, he said.
The Taskforce regretted Wednesday’s reported attack on the Federal Medical Centre FMC in Lokoja, Kogi State, vowing to bring the perpetrators to book.
It added that the incident has been reported to President Muhammadu Buhari who would spearhead further action on the matter.
“The PTF has received with great concern, reports about the attack on the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi State by some hoodlums. The PTF is particularly distressed and regrets the trauma to which medical workers, patients, and others who went on their legitimate businesses were subjected. I wish to assure you that security agencies have been tasked with the responsibility for fishing out the criminal elements behind it and they will be brought to justice. We thank law-abiding Nigerians for reporting the occurrence promptly”, the SGF said.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire on his part said about 138, 462 people have been tested so far, adding that in order to scale up testing, all hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory FCT will now become sample collection centres.
According to him; “All government hospitals in the FCT will become Covid-19 sample collection sites so that walk-in cases can have samples taken to be forwarded to NCDC for testing. This will boost testing and assure users and care-givers of reducing bottlenecks and improving efficiency in our response. We intend to scale this initiative up to other states of the Federation”.
He said a preliminary report on the COVID organics sent in from Madagascar shows that the elixir is derived from the same plant, Artemisia Annua which is grown by the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development NIPRD.
The minister added that more research would however still be done on the product.
He said; “Preliminary results of the analysis of the so-called Madagascar herbs or organics done by the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development shows that it is the same plant called Artemisia Annua which is grown in NIPRD farms in Abuja. Further research on its efficacy will be conducted when the grant for the research is approved”.
According to him, a few years ago, the federal government had imported the plant and developed the same on the NIPRD farm.
The PTF also added that the Ministry of Transportation would be coming up with safety protocols for the reopening of the train services, noting that the measures would be similar to those obtainable in the aviation sector.
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