COVID-19: States’ treatment centres running out of bed spaces ― PTF
•Compliance to be strictly enforced •Nigerian in community transmission phase •Fatality cases reducing
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has alerted that treatment centres in states of the federation are running out of bed spaces as more confirmed cases of the disease manifest around the country.
The chairman of the task force and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who revealed this at its briefing in Abuja on Friday, said that the PTF would modify care strategies and evolve alternatives.
He said: “We have also received reports from the states, which suggests that the treatment centres are running out of bed spaces.
“As we assess the situation, the PTF shall also begin to examine our peculiar circumstances, modify the strategies for care management and consider viable alternatives, where necessary. At the appropriate time, the guidelines and protocols shall be unfolded.”
Mustapha noted that as Nigeria, like the rest of the World, continued to plough through “this uncharted territory of COVID-19,” noting that the national response being pursued was robust, comprehensive and all-inclusive.
He said the PTF has intensified the monitoring of the level of compliance with the advisories and guidelines already issued, adding that the outcome of its surveillance still pointed to the fact that violations were still rampant and portended a very dangerous trend.
He stated that after consulting with security agencies, there would now be stricter enforcement of the restrictions.
The chairman further said: “The PTF has been consulting with the Security Agencies and arrived at the conclusion that strict enforcement should be adopted. As part of the conclusions of the meeting with Security Chiefs, the following were also agreed: to strengthen enforcement in collaboration with the States;
“All exempted persons including journalists and medical personnel should always carry a verifiable and authentic means of identification.
“Security agencies should improve monitoring of their personnel and interaction with the citizenry; Citizens should respect the sacrificial role of security agencies and desist from assaulting security personnel and damaging security infrastructure;
“Appropriate PPE and related protective gears will be provided for the security personnel; Security agencies should always respect the fundamental rights of citizens during enforcement; Enlightenment and awareness should be intensified; and Imo need be, revisit the strategies on the basis of spatial compliance.”
He emphasized: “I must reiterate that the measures taken are not punitive. Rather, they are to save our lives and prevent the uncontrolled spread of the COVID -19 among our loved ones and within our communities.”
The PTF chairman observed that the country was presently in community transmission of COVID-19, which he said was worrisome.
He, however, noted that increased testing for the virus has not translated into higher fatalities.
Mustapha stated: “Nigeria is presently at the community transmission phase and yesterday Thursday 7th May 2020, we witnessed the highest single-day number of 381 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“This could be considered worrisome but for the fact that this rise is associated with our increased testing capacity, which has provided an opportunity to detect hitherto hidden cases.
“However, this increased testing does not translate to higher fatality rates as in the last few days, we have witnessed a good number of discharges and a continually reducing daily fatality rate.”
The SGF also said that the PTF was liaising with the Task Force on Movement of Agricultural produce to ensure that food scarcity was not experienced in any part of the country.
According to him, another objective of this collaboration was to minimize the abuse of the exemption granted for the movement of goods under guidelines.
He urged Nigerians to comply with the guidelines on the previous COVID-19, saying: “You must take personal responsibility for actions.”