By Williams Anuku, Abuja
Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid 19, Boss Mustapha has appealed to striking workers, under the auspices of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to suspend their action.
While condemning the action, he said the strike has come at a huge loss to human lives, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let me once again send a strong appeal to all health workers particularly, JOHESU members, that the nation can ill-afford any further disruption to its health systems. The on-going strike has been very costly in terms of human lives but such losses can be avoided.
“Government shall continue to do its best to push through the negotiations with the unions and hopefully, reason shall prevail,” he stated on Thursday at the usual briefing session on containment of the virus.
It would be recalled that JOHESU recently mobilized its members to embark on strike, nationwide, following alleged shortchanging in the payment of hazard and inducement allowances by the Federal Government.
According to leaders of the health union, government has been showing preference for some workers in the sector, neglecting the needs of JOHESU members.
On the resumption of international flights and constraints trailing the process, the SGF said the challenges were highly regrettable but that government was open to a review of the system as time goes on.
He said, “We have only recently reopened our international flights and that nations that had opened up their economies have done a re-think following the resurgence of the cases in their countries.
“The PTF is closely watching the developments at the airports and taking-in comments and observations sent by well-meaning Nigerians and passengers. Most of the comments are around the protocols and requirements for departure, arrivals, testing in-country, self-isolation. While the PTF regrets all inconveniences experienced by arriving passengers, I wish to state that the overriding public interest is a critical factor propelling the policies.
“The issues with access to the portal, cost, pre-boarding validity timing and other factors remain work in progress and shall be reviewed as and when necessary. The PTF shall remain open to your suggestions and comments”.
Commenting on the declining number of infections among Nigerians, the PTF Boss said the development does not the viciousness of the virus, rather it should be approached with caution, while observing all the preventive measures.
“Looking back at our National Response, using science, data and experience from other countries, we cannot but say that tremendous progress has been made and that we are beginning to notice that the curve is flattening.
“However, as we have always stated, this positive development shall be taken with vigilance and cautious optimism. This is based on the fact that we are convinced that we have not tested enough, “he noted.