*Says cases of infection, fatality will rise more
The Presidential Taskforce, PTF, on COVID-19 on Thursday, condemned the attack on the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, in Lokoja, Kogi State on Wednesday by unknown men in the state.
This came as they stated that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country will continue to rise
The Chairman of the PTF, on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha disclosed this during the daily briefing of the Taskforce in Abuja.
Mustapha stated that while some families are mourning their love once, people that are supposed to know better are still casting doubt on the reality of a global pandemic.
In his word: “For anybody to think or say COVID- 19 is not real, is the height of insensitivity because there are families who lost their love once due to this virus and are currently grieving. We need to respect the feelings of our countrymen and show empathy. To begin to create doubt is very insensitive.
“We are not in any way getting out of the wood, this number of confirmed cases will keep increasing. We don’t want the country to slide into a panic mood, the fatality will keep increasing, the more the figure the more fatality. So let us resolve to do everything humanly possible to secure ourselves.
”In furtherance of the synergy being built, the Co-Chairmen of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council NIREC, His Eminence Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, the Sultan of Sokoto/President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and His Eminence Rev. Dr. Samson O. A. Ayokunle, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, would be directing Muslim and Christian adherents all over the country to go in for a period of fasting and prayer.
“The NIREC will announce the details and we urge all Nigerians to participate in this effort to seek divine intervention”, he said.
Meanwhile, the PTF condemns Wednesday’s reported attack on the Federal Medical Centre FMC in Lokoja, Kogi State.
“The incident has been reported to President Muhammadu Buhari who would spearhead further action on the matter.
“The PTF has received with great concern, reports about the attack on the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi State by some hoodlums. The PTF is particularly distressed and regrets the trauma to which medical workers, patients and others who went on their legitimate businesses were subjected.
“I wish to assure you that security agencies have been tasked with the responsibility for fishing out the criminal elements behind it and they will be brought to justice. We thank law-abiding Nigerians for reporting the occurrence promptly,” the SGF said.
Also, on his part, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire , stated that, “About 138, 462 people have been tested so far. in order to scale up testing, all hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory FCT will now become sample collection centres.
“All government hospitals in the FCT will become COVID-19 sample collection sites so that walk-in cases can have samples taken to be forwarded to NCDC for testing. This will boost testing and assure users and care-givers of reducing bottlenecks and improving efficiency in our response. We intend to scale this initiative up to other states of the Federation.
“A preliminary report on the COVID-19 organics sent in from Madagascar shows that the elixir is derived from the same plant, Artemisia Annua which is grown by the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development NIPRD.”
The minister added that more research would however still be done on the product.
He said; “Preliminary results of analysis of the so-called Madagascar herbs or organics done by the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development shows that it is the same plant called Artemisia Annua which is grown in NIPRD farms in Abuja. Further research on its efficacy will be conducted when the grant for the research is approved”.
“Few years ago, the federal government had imported the plant and developed the same in the NIPRD farm.