COVID-19: 5000 Nigerian frontline health workers to get life insurance cover
- PTF warns that coronavirus will ravage Nigerians if Nigeria fails to put in place a single National Response
The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF) has received the Life Insurance cover to the frontline workers on COVID-19 for a maximum of 5000 health workers who are employed to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The premium in the sum of N112,500,000 for the cover has been fully paid by the Nigerian Insurance Industry in line with the principle of No Premium, No Cover.
Meanwhile, the Taskforce has warned that the coronavirus disease will ravage Nigerians and the economy if the country fails to have a single coordinated National Response.
Chairman of the Taskforce and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustaph,a who disclosed this at the daily press conference in Abuja noted that the PTF is working assiduously to ensure one National Response is working with state governor’s to actualize the objective.
The SGF who recalled that the PTF had embarked on the assessment of the readiness in nine states, said that the committee has strengthened collaboration with the states and will be fine-tuning the directions and advisories in order to effectively guide the states and for uniformity of approach.
Boss Mustapha noted that the Federal Ministry of Health in conjunction with other MDAs and the health sector professional bodies have signed an MOU for various allowances and other incentives for the frontline health workers.
He commended the Insurance industry for the gesture and called on other sectors of the economy to rise up to support the efforts to fight COVID-19.
The SGF also observed that food security and self-sufficiency remain important to national life and urged all farmers to begin to prepare for their return to the farms as the planting season sets in, adding that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has put in place arrangements for access to farm inputs, extension and others services.
On his part, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire noted that government has deployed the COVID-19 starter packs to all tertiary health institutions and Federal Medical Centres to complement what was earlier sent to the states adding that the starter packs consist of Medical Consumables to ensure that our frontline healthcare workers are protected
He stated the high number of new cases is due to on-going community transmission and active case searches, stressing that the most affected age group from the statistics of tests carried out is 31-40 years while the highest COVID-19 fatality is among the older generation above 50 years of age.
Ehanire explained that government’s strategy is that testing positive is followed by isolation and treatment as needed while those who require no treatment still need to be in isolation in the interest of the public and their household.
He noted that efforts are on to increase the number of laboratories in the country and stressed the need to improve surveillance, sample collection strategies and transport logistics to laboratories and also reduce the turnaround time for tests.
The minister said that laboratories have the capacity to test 1,500 samples per day in 13 laboratories across the country, however, Nigeria is testing an average of about 600 samples per day being the samples received at the centres.
“I want to use this opportunity to applaud our frontline health workers in the COVID-19 pandemic. We salute your courage and patriotism but I urge you to protect yourself as prescribed and use your PPEs judiciously. Do not attempt to treat COVID-19 patient without using adequate PPE or if your institution is not accredited to do so.
“This is important because we need to keep health workers safe at such a time since we cannot afford the numbers who test positive to COVID-19 and have to go into isolation.Remain vigilant in the line of duty and maintain a high index of suspicion for this disease,” he added.
The minister appealed to Nigerians to adhere to our advisory on hand and respiratory hygiene as well as the social distancing directives. Citizens are again reminded to use a mask or face covering when you leave your residence, avoid mass gathering and non-essential travels.
In his remarks, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba said considering the number of health workers that have been affected by Covid-19, there is need to scale up occupational health and safety.
“These are very difficult times, we need to work together to achieve results. We commend the frontline health workers who are doing a wonderful work,” Wabba added .
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