President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday received briefing by Health Minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director-General Chikwe Ihekweazu, on the latest development on Coronavirus and the ‘strange’ disease in Kano.
Ehanire told reporters that the meeting was on the position of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Control.
The President’s meeting with the minister and the NCDC director-general came less than 24 hours to the expiration of the 14-day extension to a lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states to contain the pandemic.
Ehanire said the PTF presented to the President its advice and recommendations on way forward as regard the ongoing fight against the spread of the deadly virus.
“We also brought the overall summary of position of the Presidential Task Force which as you know comprises of not only the health minister but other ministries.
“We have aggregated the opinions that we have, weighing the health and the socio-economic factors and everything, to present our own opinion and recommendations to Mr President.’’
Ehanire said the nation was winning the fight against the pandemic as all relevant health institutions had agreed to work together to achieve the desired goal of defeating the novel Coronavirus.
He said: “The fight is going on very well. As I said, all countries have continued with the struggle against Coronavirus, using the strategies that they have developed for their own countries.
“We have developed a strong strategy as we are working with other experts groups like the NCDC and relevant health organisations. So, we are also working with the states and the governors.’’
On Kano’s strange disease,” which has killed many people, the minister said his ministry had been communicating with relevant agencies, including the Kano State Government with a view to addressing the health problem.
Ihekweazu advised Nigerians against wasting their meagre resources on the procurement of what he described as uncertified Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits.
He said: “We will continue to build up our testing strategies. At the moment 14 testing centres have been activated across the country.
“We want to bring the test closer to every state. Everybody is working very hard to solve this problem.
“I can see that some people are already procuring Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits. They don’t work as far as we know.
“So, I will really recommend that we all stick to the National Strategy, build on it, support its expansion and together we will get on top of the pandemic.’’