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Most Nigerians susceptible to coronavirus, says PTF

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President Buhari receives briefing from members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID–19 this afternoon at his residence, in the State House, Abuja.


• Insists schools to remain closed until further notice
• Reps panel threatens to arrest AGF for alleged concealment of financial records
• Restaurants, park owners lament continued lockdowns, seek single digit loans

The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF) yesterday alerted that majority of Nigerians are still susceptible to COVID-19, stressing that if allowed to transmit easily, the virus may become more deadly.

It stressed the need for states to scale up action for their public health response, adding that the Federal Government would build public health laboratories that would sustain public health response in the country.

Also, the Taskforce insisted that government would only reopen schools when it was safer to do so, as it would not want to experiment with Nigerian children.

Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said, “We have to ensure that the ban on interstate travels is lifted because we can’t open when teachers cannot go to school.

“It requires six weeks to complete the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) examinations. We are working to bring the timetable closer.”

Chairman of PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha said at the daily media briefing in Abuja that PTF has commenced integrating comprehensive psychological services programme into its activities, noting that at the commencement of the National Response, government prioritised physical health management of affected persons.

Coordinator of PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said efforts were being made to allow over 4,000 Nigerians abroad to return to their families, adding that government would not bear the cost of their transportation and accommodation, as they would be expected to pay for their 14-day isolation.

Besides, House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) threatened to issue warrant of arrest on the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, for alleged failure to submit government’s financial records for scrutiny.

Chairman of the Committee, Wole Oke, stated this when members of the PTF appeared before it to give account of funds so far generated and spent to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Oke described the AGF’s penchant for evading the committee’s scrutiny of financial dealings of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as disrespect for the legislature and rape of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Meanwhile, restaurants, garden and park owners have urged the Federal Government to develop health and safety protocols that would enable them to reopen their businesses amid rising job losses.

Speaking in Abuja, Chairman of Casa Mexicana Restaurant, Dr. Goke Adegoroye, said most restaurant operators were weighing their options to see whether they could still operate after COVID-19.

On his part, Chief Executive of Nkoyo Restaurant, Titus Elias, urged the Federal Government to develop health protocols in collaboration with restaurant owners.


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