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Cater for inmates, security agents at isolation facilities, PTF urges states

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The Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19 has called on state governments to prioritise welfare of inmates and security agents at isolation centres to fortify the facilities and check escape.

Meanwhile, over 22,000 people have been tested for the disease.

Chairman of the task force and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who made the call at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, admitted that there were challenges associated with the management of the centres manifest in protests over welfare, abscondment, among others.

He observed that the developments were undermining containment measures and putting the lives of care managers and frontline workers at risk.

The SGF equally implored inmates to follow expert instructions during their stay, as treatment would largely depend on the evaluation of the doctor.

The chairman decried the pervasive non-compliance with the ban on inter-state travels.

He frowned on the increasing abuse of exemptions to vehicles conveying specified goods, adding that reports nationwide indicate furtive ferrying of persons across state boundaries.

Mustapha also condemned the continued transportation of almajirai across the borders.

His words: “I have highlighted the foregoing as it relates to the road transportation sector to underscore the dangers inherent in the seeding of the virus across states. I however commend the security agencies for their vigilance in apprehending and prosecuting violators. It is, worrisome, however, to note reports received about isolated cases of compromise by some security operatives. We urge the various commands of the security agencies to enhance their monitoring machinery to ensure that we do not only achieve the objective of stopping the spread of the virus, but also prevent the good name of the services from being tarnished.”

The PTF boss pointed out that claims of inventions and cures relating to the disease must undergo scientific validation processes, adding that the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department of the Federal Ministry of Health had been evaluating such claims and forwarding those that met the preliminary requirements to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for listing.

Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, requested the states to embark on preparing at least a 300-bed space for virus’ isolation and treatment, stressing that as testing is scaled up and more persons with infection are identified, it is necessary that they are safely and securely isolated and treated with dignity until they test negative to break our chain of transmission.

He explained that 21 laboratories are now operational for COVID-19 testing nationwide.

The minister added that officials of his ministry were in Lokoja to work with the Kogi government in ensuring that the state had adequate testing capacity.


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