By Williams Anuku, Abuja
BOSS Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, has directed that henceforth, all government meetings, including that of corporate entities should be conducted, virtually.
Mustapha also directed that all unnecessary travels for meetings by government official remains suspended till further notice.
He gave the directive on Monday, in Abuja, where he warned that resumption of flight operations should not be misconstrued as a license for baseless meetings.
According to him, the directive became necessary, following a mid-term Review of the National Response Strategy, which unfortunately revealed rising cases of the Coronavirus on daily basis, nationwide.
It would be recalled that prior to the emergence of Covid-19, the nation’s capital Abuja, was known to play host to several political and corporate meetings, including Annual General Meetings AGMs.
Boss equally cautioned religious and political groups against flouting existing guidelines for public gatherings, insisting that in the absence of cure for the deadly virus, we owe it a duty to protect ourselves individually.
“Government meetings/Board meetings: should be conducted virtually until further notice. All unnecessary travels for meetings by government official suspended till further notice.
“All government offices shall continue to hold virtual meetings in their offices especially where participants exceed four persons and suspend all unnecessary travels for meetings;
For corporate organisations, Board members, the reopening of the domestic flights should not be misconstrued. The PTF strongly encourages virtual meetings as well.
“We still urge places of worship to cautiously follow the guide lines on public gatherings; and
We urge members of the political class to exercise utmost circumspection in their gathering for whatever reasons”.
Beyond these measures, the PTF gave indications that its new approach will centre on having enough oxygen nationwide as the number of hospitalized persons increases, while it will establish one sample collection center per LGA.
To ameliorate cases under the high burden LGAs classification, the PTF intends to increase community engagement including religious leaders
“Regarding compliance on IPC measures, we intend to institutionalize IPC policies in health care facilities and take step to increase compliance of non-pharmaceutical measures (use of face masks, hand sanitizers, and physical distancing)
“We will also increase engagement with the private sector, including supporting local production of PPEs and other critical supplies
“Henceforth, anyone above 60 years or persons with morbidities (such as hypertension, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cancers), should stay at home and avoid social events as they are at highest risk of infection and mortality,”he stated.
He revealed that Nigeria received US$8million worth of PPEs from the German Government and the ECOWAS Commission,adding that in line with Mr. President’s role of the ECOWAS COVID-19 champion, Nigeria provided the warehouse space and shall support with the logistics for delivering the materials to other ECOWAS member countries.
“The PTF would like to use this opportunity to thank the government and people of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Economic Commission of West African States.
“I must not close without reiterating the need for all of us to remain conscious of the fight before us. The pandemic would not go away by a wish, neither would it go away if we refuse to keep safe. Please let’s all resolve to play our part, while Government does its best to save lives and livelihood,”he emphasized.