President Muhammadu Buhari Monday says only a collective international approach will mitigate the devastating effect of Covid-19.
The President, who was speaking to the ongoing extraordinary Non-Aligned Movement online summit, assured that would intensify efforts to monitor, test and isolate more people, especially at the community level.
President Buhari emphasised that regional and global strategies would be required to tackle the pandemic, noting that the pandemic had caused unprecedented devastation to the well-being of people, their livelihoods, and global economy.
The President said the task before the international community remained daunting, and that more actions were needed to be taken to reduce the impact of Covid 19.
He urged Non-Aligned Movement member-countries to encourage and empower their scientists and medical experts to join the quest for a vaccine and cure to this universal plague.
The President told Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement that the central role of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) in fighting the pandemic must be acknowledged and leveraged for the benefit of all member-nations.
President Buhari urged international financial institutions to assist member states in cushioning the negative impact of the pandemic in the spirit of solidarity, which will include extending concessional loans, technical support, lowering of tariff on medical equipment and consumables, sharing of expertise in case management, adopting open-trade policies, and outright debt cancellation.
He suggested that within the spirit of South-South cooperation, they must also assist one another, particularly the less developed and less endowed member states with technical, medical, and financial assistance.
On efforts to control the spread of the virus in Nigeria, and ameliorate the economic effect, the President said land borders and airports had been closed, while reduced seaport activities had been reduced.
He said the government had accordingly, increased its efforts to monitor trends of the disease, and established more isolation centres, while stepping up testing at the community level and of potentially vulnerable groups.
The President said various medical and food supplies, as well as conditional cash transfer to about 3.6 million had been handed out to vulnerable households affected by the stay-at-home order, while and supported households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by Covid-19 induced economic downturn.