Gentlemen of the Press,
I welcome you all to the briefing for Tuesday 21st April, 2020.
2.We are in the fourth week of the lockdown of Lagos, and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory and the PTF continues to assess the impact vis-à-vis the objectives. Let me remind us all that the lockdown and the subsequent extension was to slow down the spread of the virus by minimizing contact and congregation of people and to enable us put in place necessary infrastructure, train personnel, take delivery and distribute essential equipment and materials in readiness for any eventuality.
3.I informed you yesterday that pursuant to the objective, the DG of the NCDC and the WHO Representative on the PTF have been touring the states to assess and standardize their infrastructure and their readiness. They have so far visited six states- Imo, Anambra, Rivers, Delta, Katsina and currently in Kano. Three more states will be covered by Wednesday.
4.While the PTF continues to assess the impact of the lockdown preparatory to the submission of a Report to Mr. President, we have observed general compliance with the restrictions. However, much more work shall be required in the creation of awareness among the people and securing the buy-in of stakeholders. I find it necessary to remind us all that this COVID-19 pandemic is not a joke and it is a global pandemic. I therefore renew the appeal of the PTF to all Nigerians to view it as such and comply with all advisories and directives in the interest of humanity.
5.The Reports coming out of our continuing collaboration with the states indicate the following:
i. Governors have been at the head of the response which is encouraging;
ii. The State EOCs and their treatment centres are in place;
iii. There are improved levels of preparedness and response activities- focusing more on strengthening current capacity where they exist over building new structures.
iv. There is obvious need to support the states in strengthening coordination across board
v. More guidance should be provided in the area of non-pharmaceutical interventions
vi. Particular attention is to be focused on some states with heavy burden, particularly, Kano; and
vii. Priority is being placed on Intensive State Level Support.
6.I am pleased to inform you that as part of the support to the states, the PTF has approved the distribution plans for medical equipment and consumables available in stock to the states. The physical distribution shall commence immediately. This will be in addition to the Jack Ma equipment and materials already shared to the states.
7.Let me once again thank the Media for the tremendous support we continue to receive. I similarly thank the selflessness of our frontline health workers for their professionalism and hard work. We stand with you as you work to save lives. I equally thank countless public-spirited Nigerians, corporate organizations, faith based organisations, etc for demonstrating unparalleled commitment to the survival of our nation and for being your brothers’ keeper.
8.Before I invite the Hon. Minister of Health to the podium, I consider it apt to repeat that this is the time for all hands to be on deck so that the PTF can improve on its delivery. Unity of purpose is critical. Everybody has a role to play for self, for family, for community, for the nation and for humanity.
9.I now invite the Hon Minister of Health to update you.