We’ve moved into Kano to prevent another COVID-19 epicentre – FG

The federal government said it had moved into Kano State to intervene in the outbreak situation and prevent it from becoming the next epicentre in the country.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, Boss Mustapha, disclosed this on Thursday during the daily press briefing by the task force.

The SGF also disclosed that the PTF had instructed the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to proceed into Kano and in conjunction with the state government, mobilise for immediate contacts tracing to contain the speed of the spreading of the disease.

He also mentioned the concerns over the refusal of private healthcare facilities to comply with the directive get accredited by the Federal Ministry of Health before proceeding to commence treatment of cases related to COVID-19, noting that this posed serious danger, not just to the health and life of the personnel working in such facilities, but to those of their loved ones as well as the general public.

On the situation in Kano, Mustapha said “the situation in Kano is still being assessed and monitored closely. Based on preliminary findings, the PTF has directed the NCDC to send an enhanced support team, mobilize resources for contact tracing and immediately ensure that necessary steps are taken in conjunction with State Government to contain the spread of the pandemic in Kano and stop the city from becoming the next epicentre”.

Speaking on non-compliance to instructions by privately owned healthcare facilities, he said “the PTF views with some measure of concern the non-compliance by private medical facilities with the directive to seek accreditation before treating COVID-19 related cases.

“The highly infectious nature of COVID-19 if not well managed in purpose-built facilities and specialists pose a lot of danger not just to the medical staff in such hospitals but also to other patients and loved ones at home. We therefore appeal strongly to operators of private medical facilities wishing to continue to treat COVID-19 cases to apply to the Federal Ministry of Health urgently, for accreditation,” he said.

He, however, appealed to all Nigerians to continue obeying all the advisories issued so far to stay safe from the danger of contracting the dreaded disease, charging further that these were the times that all citizens need to show love and concern to each other, especially towards those categorised as the most vulnerable among the population.

“I encourage you to comply with all the advisories and to continue to be your brothers’ keeper especially given the unintended impact of the lockdown on the poor, the needy, the aged, the vulnerable, persons living with disabilities and the sick. This is the time to show the essence of the fear of God and love for humanity in us.

“The PTF notes that the number of cases reported have risen to 873 across 25 states and the FCT with 197 discharges and 28 fatalities. I have mentioned these numbers in order to underscore the need for citizens to comply with advisories strictly so that we can slowdown the spread of the virus. These advisories still remain the most effective way of flattening the curve.

“The issue of stigmatization still persists and it is counter-productive to our efforts. This disease does not discriminate on status, creed, tribe or color and anybody can be infected.

“It is my humble appeal that once you are infected by this disease, you should immediately report to appropriate medical facilities in your own interest and the interest of your loved ones. COVID-19 is not a condition and there is no need to stigmatize anybody. I must remind all of us that over 90% of infected persons recover from this disease. In this regard, I urge all those who have recovered from this disease to tell their stories.

“The PTF has continued to collaborate with the Governors in the various states and the outcome of the conversation with the NGF will form a critical part of the recommendations to be made to Mr. President in the coming days,” he said.

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