…Says Pandemic ‘ll remain for sometime
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
NATIONAL Coordinator, Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, Tuesday, said that the nation’s health system has become fragile and may not withstand the effect of a major outbreak of the pandemic or other infections.
Dr. Aliyu also said that COVID-19 will be in the country for a while and will continue to be deadly, adding that a lot more work needed to be done to enable the country transition back to normal.
This was contained in his remark at COVID-19 End of year report which was made available to journalists after the presentation of the report to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, “COVID-19 will be with us for a while. Although this is the new normal, it continues to be just as deadly. Nevertheless, we have shown it is possible to keep it in check through the work we have done – we must persevere and continue the communication and enforcement aspects required to keep us safe until the epidemic is over.
“Next year will be all about the COVID-19 vaccine. This is a huge challenge for the country and will require your leadership and continued commitment, Mr. President. All hands must be on deck to deliver and overcome the challenges of securing the supply of safe and effective vaccines, logistics and acceptance.
“Our health system has been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. The country’s health system is fragile and may not withstand the effect of a major outbreak of COVID-19 or other infections.
“There is an urgent need for a carefully thought through and action-oriented reform of the health sector that will improve our health security and place the country in a better position to manage future health threats.
“While a lot has been achieved, gratitude goes to the partners and donors, PTF members, secretariat staff without whom we will not have made any achievements. On behalf of the PTF, I would also like to thank you for the immense support you have provided us, your timely approval of our requests and guidance through what has been an incredibly challenging period for all.
“However, it is not over yet. A lot more work needs to be done to enable us transition back to normal. I am confident that working together and with your continued support, we will overcome this challenge once again.
“Nevertheless, we have shown it is possible to keep it in check through the work we have done – we must persevere and continue the communication and enforcement aspects required to keep us safe until the epidemic is over.”
On the challenges facing the PTF, he said despite the progress made over the summer, fatigue has started to set in, and an increasing number of people stopped adhering to the Non Pharmaceutical Intervention, NPIs.