The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) says it is enhancing surveillance at Nigeria’s borders to respond to the outbreak of Ebola in neighbouring countries.
Recently, Guinea and Congo DCR recorded new cases of the virus, eliciting fears that it might spread to more countries.
Speaking at the press briefing of the PTF on COVID-19 on Monday, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the task force chairman, Boss Mustapha, said the PTF is watching Ebola to avoid having to fight two deadly diseases simultaneously.
“The PTF is also enhancing surveillance at points of entry to respond to recent outbreak of Ebola in neighboring countries, especially, Guinea and the Congo DCR,” Mustapha said.
“We shall keep a keen eye on it to avoid having to combat with the two deadly diseases at the same time. This is not a task for Government alone but for all Nigerians and indeed all members of the public have a role to play.”
On the availability of oxygen for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, the SGF disclosed that government is repairing 36 plants across the country to enhance accessibility.
“The Oxygen strategy we are pursuing nationwide under case management is receiving the needed support from the Global Fund. This will involve the repairs of 36 plants nationwide,” he said.
“The process is ongoing and you will be briefed as it progresses. The objective is to make sure that oxygen is available within the shortest possible travelling distance for hospitals to procure for patients. As you are aware, the President has already approved the repairs of existing plants around the country. The Minister of health will brief you on it.”
Mustapha urged Nigerians to continue to be vigilant as the nation is not yet out of the woods.
“On the other hand, the recorded death of twenty-four (24) COVID-19 patients in the country on Saturday, 13th February, 2021, being the second highest in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic should serve as a wake-up call for the populace to brace up for more compliance,” he said.
The task force chairman also stated that the process for accessing vaccines for Nigeria is still on course under the Coordination of the PTF in the same manner of the National Response on COVID-19.
“While the Federal Ministry of Health and its relevant Agencies remain the lead facilitators, our goal remains to keep it safe and efficacious,” he added.