COVID-19: PTF disburses N1b each to 32 states

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… Regrets recent low testing rates
… Calls for increased vigilance

THE Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has disbursed N1billion each to 32 states in the country to bolster their fights against the coronavirus pandemic.

  PTF Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu announced the disbursement yesterday night during a briefing in Abuja.

  “We have released money to the state governments recently, to 32 state governments. Each state government was given a billion naira. This is for the purpose of driving their COVID responses and we are asking them to prioritise testing in addition to surveillance activities linked to COVID-19,” he said.

  Earlier, on his part, Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, lamented the decline in the rate with which states test and confirm COVID-19 cases in their areas.

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  Ihekweazu, who briefed reporters earlier today in the nation’s capital, said the   Federal Government observed a decline of 36 per cent in the infections recorded in August compared to those reported in July.

  According to him, governments cannot celebrate since testing in many states is very low.

  “The number of reported cases daily has declined nationally in the last few weeks. We have seen a 36 per cent decline in August compared to July on national figures. Unfortunately, Ihekweazu stated.

  Similarly, PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has called for greater vigilance on the part of both the government and the citizens.

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  Explaining that the call is important because the country’s economy has been devastated by the global pandemic, Mustapha advised Nigerians to observe all protocols stipulated by health authorities, particularly the use of facemasks in public places.

  According to him, President Muhammad Buhari-led administration is seriously pushing through with reforms that will help the nation’s economy recover from the effect of the virus.

  “The call for greater vigilance is underscored by the fact that our economy has been seriously affected by the pandemic and we are pushing through with home-grown economic recovery strategies to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic,” he said.

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