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Why COVID-19 cases are rising, by panel

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Buhari orders payment of withheld salaries of varsity teachers
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 yesterday attributed the rising cases of the disease to expansion of government’s testing capacity and activities as well as evidence that community spread was taking place.

“Considering the dynamic nature of the response plan, the strategy for testing has been modified and door-to-door testing is now taking place in some communities in Lagos and Abuja,” the chairman and Secretary to Government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, stated yesterday in Abuja.

He reiterated government’s commitment to bringing the scourge to a halt.

Mustapha stated that testing, detection, isolation, care and case management remain central to success in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

“The situation in Kano continues to be of concern, and the PTF is working in close contact with the state government to arrest the situation. The task force will update you as soon as there are new developments,” he pledged.

The chairman reminded the people that the pandemic is real and spreading like a wild fire.

“We must all fight this potent and invisible common enemy by adhering to the guidelines and protocols for COVID-19, which include personal hygiene, social distancing, wearing of masks in public places, obeying the stay-at-home order and reporting unusual illnesses to the authorities for investigation,” he added.

Besides, Mustapha said: “It is anticipated that by Friday, April 24, the Ramadan shall commence. I want to use this medium to thank the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs for endorsing the recommendations of the Emergency Fatwah Committee by issuing a statement guiding the conduct of the Ummah during the Ramadan.”

The Sultan had directed the Ummah on the suspension of obligatory religious activities such as Jumaat, congregational and other sessions during the month of Ramadan to prevent the spread of the disease.

He equally encouraged scholars and organisations to use all other means of communication and broadcast to disseminate information and conduct programmes.

According to the PTF boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, as a show of magnanimity and concern for all categories of employees, has approved the immediate payment of the withheld February and March salaries of lecturers not registered on the IPPIS platform.

“This payment is to cushion the deleterious effects of the COVID-19 period on the lecturers and members of their families,” he stated.


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