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Convert abandoned buildings, schools to isolation centres, FG tells states

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the COVID-19 Pandemic has charged  State governments to start considering all available unusual structures to be converted and equipped for isolation centres.

National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, who made the suggestion on Monday during the media briefing by the task force, also emphasised the need for states to start expanding their isolation and treatment capacities, especially since the spread had entered the community level.

He, however, expressed the PTF’s concern over the failure of some states to have met the guidance to state governments to start building isolation and treatment capacities, starting with the minimum of 300 bed spaces facilities.

“I must emphasise the need for state governments to continue to identify spaces for isolation of persons diagnosed positive with COVID-19. It’s important that we start considering unusual environments such as schools, academic institutions and even abandoned buildings because we definitely need to build our isolation capacities.

“You may recall that the PTF provided guidance on ensuring that at least 300 beds are made available across all states for isolating people with COVID-19 and we are so concerned that a lot of states are yet to reach that number.

“In terms of public sensitisation, just to encourage the public to continue to personally monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, especially now that we have community transmission,” he said.

Aliyu also informed of the PTF’s resolve to continue to protect the socio-economic interest of all Nigerians all through the period of the pandemic.

“I’ll like to talk about the socio-economic impact the COVID-19 has had globally and to say that the PTF will continue to prioritize the human and economic needs of our people, based on global guidelines on the pandemic emergency response.

“In particular, we will continue to ensure the protection of health services system by collaboration with ministries, departments and agencies, we’ll continue to ensure the social protection and provision of basic services including the protection of jobs, both within the formal and informal sectors, as well as encouraging multilateral collaboration with the public and private sectors.

“It’s important that we encourage social cohesion in communities resilience in these challenging times when it comes to controlling the spread of the virus.

“The PTF continues to monitor cases in the northeast and the northwest parts of the country, we are also investigating spikes that we have noticed, particularly in the hotspots in other parts of the country”, he said

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