President Muhammadu Buhari has again condoled with families of Nigerians, who lost their loved ones to COVID-19.
“This is our collective loss and we share your grief,’’ the president announced in a broadcast in Abuja on Monday.
Buhari noted that the measures put in place to combat the spread of the pandemic had started yielding fruitful results.
“Initial models predicted that Nigeria will record an estimated 2,000 confirmed cases in the first month after the index case.
“This means that despite the increase in the number of confirmed cases recorded in the past two weeks, the measures we have put in place have yielded positive outcomes.
“The proportion of cases imported from other countries has reduced to only 19 per cent of new cases, showing that our border closures yielded positive results.
“These are mostly fellow Nigerians returning through our land borders.’’
The president, however, maintained that the Federal Government would continue to enforce land border arrival protocols as part of containment strategy.
He noted that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had accredited 15 laboratories across the country with an aggregate capacity to undertake 2,500 tests per day.
“Based on your feedback, Lagos State Government and the FCT with support from NCDC have established several sample collection centres.
“They are also reviewing their laboratory testing strategies to further increase the number of tests they can perform, including the accreditation of selected private laboratories that meet the accreditation criteria.
“Several new fully-equipped treatment and isolation centres have been operationalised across the country thereby increasing bed capacity to about 3,000,’’ he added.
Buhari lauded state governors for the activation of state-level emergency operation centres, establishment of new treatment centres and delivery of aggressive risk communication strategies.
He disclosed that over 10,000 healthcare workers had been trained.
“For their protection, additional personal protective equipment have been distributed to all the states.
“Although we have experienced logistical challenges, we remain committed to establishing a solid supply chain process to ensure these heroic professionals can work safely and are properly equipped.
“In keeping with our government’s promise to improve the welfare of healthcare workers, we have signed a memorandum of understanding on the provision of hazard allowances and other incentives with key health sector professional associations,’’ he stated.
The president also announced that his administration had provided insurance cover for 5,000 frontline health workers.
He commended the insurance sector for its support in achieving this within a short period of time.
Buhari also commended the international community, multi-lateral agencies, the private sector and public-spirited individuals for their support toward combating the deadly virus.
“This support has ensured that critical life-saving equipment and materials, which have become scarce globally are available for Nigeria through original equipment manufacturers and government-to-government processes,’’ he said.
On distribution and expansion of palliatives, the president said he was mindful of the seeming frustration being faced by expectant citizens.
He urged potential beneficiaries to exercise patience, assuring that his administration would continue to fine-tune logistical and distribution processes in partnership with the State Governments.