Friday, March 20, 2020

Osinbajo leads special committee to deal with coronavirus

In what reflects a continuous and consistent confrontation of COVID-19 in Nigeria, State governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC) have set up a Special Committee to coordinate Federal and State governments’ response to deal with the fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Committee which started deliberations immediately after the NEC meeting on Thursday is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with the Governors of Jigawa, Edo, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kebbi and Ogun States as members.

The establishment of the Special Committee mandated to coordinate the responses of the Federal Government and States especially as it relates to the socio-economic implications of the pandemic on Nigerians, was the major outcome of the Council meeting which featured several presentations on COVID-19 ranging from the economic to the financial and public health dimensions of the matter.

NEC also strongly recommended that public gatherings should be discouraged and the maximum numbers in any large gathering should be worked out by respective state governments, including

Briefing NEC on COVID-19 and Nigeria’s response, the Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunimbe Mamora and the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, noted that as at March 17, 2020, 152 countries are confirmed with coronavirus.

The presentation disclosed that in Nigeria there were 53 persons tested, 12 confirmed cases, zero deaths, 1 case discharged, and 3 states with confirmed cases were Lagos, Ogun and Ekiti States, while the type of transmission showed six cases imported from Italy, United States of America and the United Kingdom.

Ehanire who led the presentation said the strategic objective of the response include early detection, confirmed cases and contact tracing, developing and maintaining capacity to effectively manage cases, coordination and communication with Nigerians, noting that about 80% of people recovered from the disease without the need for special treatment.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha who heads the Presidential Task Force also briefed Council on steps already taken by Federal Government to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.