Remarks by The SGF/Chairman PTF At The National Briefing of Thursday 2nd April, 2020

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Hon. Ministers
Gentle Men of the Press
Welcome to the daily national briefing on COVID 19.

2. As usual, we shall be updating you on developments regarding our national response and also bring you up to speed on what to expect.

3. The implementation of the lock down order in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja is taking shape. We unveiled the guidelines to you yesterday and have started communicating to the security chiefs and all those involved in the enforcement accordingly. The PTF wishes to emphasize that this measure is not punitive as the government is conscious of the wellbeing of all Nigerians.

4. The COVID-19 is a potential danger to all of humanity, threatens our economy and the national security. You will all understand, therefore, why we must at times take very difficult decisions

5. In other not to disrupt the economy and particularly the supply of power to our homes, Government has already exempted essential staff of companies in the Upstream oil and gas sector from the restrictions. This is to facilitate availability of gas to fire the turbines that generate power for supply into our homes. That underscores the intricate nature of decisions to be taken.

6. As we continue to assess the readiness for containment and management, we recognize strongly, the importance of synergy with the states. It is important that states, whether in the front line where cases have been reported or where cases have not been reported to intensify the preparation of facilities that will help in the event of a surge. Training of personnel in the management of these facilities is also a critical factor to the success of our strategy. The PTF shall intensify consultations with the Governors and other state agencies to achieve the much needed collaboration. On the certification of more centres for treatment, the PTF has set up a team of experts now going round to inspect and certify the additional centres, nationwide. They are presently working in Abuja.

7. The commitment of our health workers is critical to the success of our national response. In this regard, the PTF wishes to assure our front line workers and those retired personnel we are mobilizing that adequate measures are being taken to protect them knowing fully well, the hazards associated with their job.

8. In the interest of humanity and our nation, the PTF appeals to every Nigerian to take this exercise very seriously by obeying all protocols and measures put in place. Staying alive is most important. I also appeal to leaders of our society (VIPs) to comply with the rules of testing so that the spread of the virus does not spiral out of control.

9. I shall now yield the podium to the HM of Health to report.