By Jeremiah Urowayino
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has appealed to all health workers and authorities of healthcare facilities to help reduce avoidable fatalities occurring from the non-Coronavirus (COVID-19) related conditions, by attending to all patients while still observing the COVID-19 protocols.
Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PTF made the appeal at the PTF briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
Mustapha said that the PTF has continued to receive reports of medical institutions refusing to receive patients over the fear of COVID-19.
“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, “ he said.
Mustapha, however, said that some countries set aside one day in the year as a National Doctors’ Day, noting that it is instructive for Nigerians as a nation.
“We salute all medical workers and thank them for the selfless, high-risk job they are handling for humanity.
“We remain proud of all of you and we assure you once more of the nation’s support,” he said.
The PTF chairman said that the nation was in the early days of the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown and urged Nigerians to always remind themselves of the reason for these uncommon times facing humanity.
“This is the time to comply with the guidelines, it is the time to be vigilant and to take responsibility.
“It is for this reason that I shall repeat my admonition of Monday, June 29th, 2020, that there is presently no known vaccine for the virus and that all over the world non-pharmaceutical measures remain the most effective fighting opportunity we have for overcoming this pandemic,” he said.
In furtherance of the synergy being built by the PTF, he said that the Co-Chairmen of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), His Eminence Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar, 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), the NIREC would announce the details, he said.
The SGF also urged all Nigerians to participate in this effort to seek divine intervention.
Mustapha said that the PTF would continue to work with the States and other stakeholders regarding the precision measures to be deployed in the high burden Local Government Areas.