The Presidential Task Force (PTF), has called on Governors to address the “Almajiri” pupils issues squarely, to avoid further spread  of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country. 

Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and PTF chairman on COVID-19, made the call during the task force daily briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.

Mustapha appealed to the governors to align their plans for the movement of the pupils with the ban on inter-state movement imposed by the President.

Specifically, he called on the governors intensify dialogue on the “Almajiri” situation in the country.

“Nigerians are yet to come to terms with the deadly and virulent nature of COVID-19.

“The PTF has observed non-compliance with physical distancing, especially in banks, traffic gridlock, inter-state movement and carrying capacity directive by commercial vehicles,” he said.

He said that the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers’ Committee has put in place strategies to address the banking challenges.

“There’s been non-compliance with physical distancing guidelines evidenced by higher than advised congregation of people in banks, traffic gridlocks especially at entry points to metropolitan areas and disregard of guidelines on carrying capacity of motor vehicles.

“Increased level of inter-state movements worsened by the concealment of people in food carrying vehicles.

“Unhygienic and ill-advised use and sharing of masks especially multiple fittings before buying from vendors,” he said.

Mustapha disclosed that the  ban on all flights will be extended for an additional four weeks.

“We have assessed the situation in the aviation industry and come to the conclusion that given the facts available to us and based on experts advice, the ban on all flights will be extended for additional four weeks, he said.

Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, while giving an update said that the country has recorded 2, 950 confirmed cases with 481 discharged and 98 deaths as at Tuesday midnight.

Ehanire said that the turn-around time for test results have been an issue and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was doing all it could to improve issue round testing.

He also said that the collaborative efforts recorded progressed  over the situation in Kano state.

He said that the ministry will send support teams to Sokoto and Katsina states to carry out training and capacity-building for medical personnel in case management and infection disease and control in the hospital.

He added that other states shall follow soon.

The minister further said that Thisday Dome, Abuja, would  be converted to a 300-bed Isolation Centre and 10-bed ICU,  to be commissioned next week.

In his remarks, National Coordinator PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, said that the chances of coming out of the pandemic depended on the compliance with the eased measures.

Aliyu said that each state of the federation should have at least 300- bed Isolation Centre, saying, “Everyone should take responsibility for their health”.


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