NEC orders strict enforcement of COVID-19 safety protocols
Disturbed by the rise in cases of COVID-19 nationwide, the National Economic Council (NEC) has called for strict enforcement of extant safety measures to contain spread of the virus.
In a resolution after its virtual meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and attended by state governors and ministers yesterday in Abuja, the body noted that “the current trends are now approaching or surpassing the levels reached during the lockdown imposed at the height of the epidemic earlier in the year.”
While enlarging the membership of its Ad hoc Committee on COVID-19 and mandating it to urgently come up with additional measures to deal with the spike, NEC stated: “The country is now experiencing a huge resurgence of COVID-19 patients needing intensive care and the existing health facilities are fast becoming overwhelmed.”
Chaired by Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa with his Lagos, Bauchi, Plateau, Kano, Anambra counterparts and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as members, the panel has now been enlarged to include governors of Ogun and Kaduna.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, is now a member, while his Information and Youth and Sports colleagues have also been conscripted into the committee.
Besides, state health and information commissioners are equally to be part of the assignment. Osinbajo charged the team to urgently come up with innovative actions to contain the disease in the Nigerians.
Speaking further on the disturbing situation, the forum observed: “The trends also show that more and more younger people are getting infected. While many of the young victims may be asymptomatic or recover without serious illness, they pass the virus to older and more vulnerable people, especially people with pre-existing health conditions, which develop serious illnesses and may easily lose their lives in the process.
“NEC notes that this increase is being accelerated by non-compliance with the non-pharmaceutical interventions advised by government, including wearing of masks, limiting of gatherings, especially indoors and the washing/sanitisation of hands.
“NEC, therefore, wishes to reemphasize the importance of these measures. Particularly as we approach the end of the year and the social gatherings associated with the holiday season, we must avoid activities or behaviour that may aggravate the situation and necessitate another lockdown.”
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