President Buhari has extended the tenure of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to March 2021 as Nigeria faces a second wave of the pandemic.
The President announced the extension of the tenure of the task force when he received the members at the statehouse Abuja on Tuesday December 22.
Shortly after the first case of Coronavirus was recorded in Nigeria in February this year, President Buhari in March constituted a 12-man task force led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, to work with states and other relevant government agencies to contain the spread of the novel virus in Nigeria.
While receiving the PTF members who were in the statehouse to present the end of the year report, President Buhari said the extension was necessary considering the second wave of the pandemic.
”Recent reports reaching me indicate that Nigeria is now facing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide which is similar to the second wave of infections occurring in other countries across the world.
New epicentres have been identified and the nation cannot afford to lose the gains of the last nine months. I have critically evaluated the situation and remain convinced that urgent measures have to be taken to halt the spread and the attendant fatalities.
21. Closely associated with the foregoing is the need to speedily and strategically access and administer the COVID vaccine in a safe, effective and timely manner. This is an important obligation that we owe Nigerians as we go into year 2021 and it must be carried out through an efficient machinery.
22. Accordingly, I have authorised the following measures for implementation:
a. The extension of the mandate of the PTF for a further period till the end of March, 2021 bearing in mind the new surge in the number of cases and the bid for vaccines;
b. That the PTF should coordinate the process for planning and the strategy for accessing, delivery and administration of the vaccines using the existing health structures that have worked in the past in vaccine administration;
c. Authorised the PTF to engage with the States for them to assume full ownership of this stage of the response by deploying legal structures and resources, including enforcement to manage the pandemic within their jurisdictions. Details of the advisory measures have already been announced; and
d. Authorised the PTF and the Nigeria Immigration Service to ensure that all in-bound passengers who failed to show up for post -arrival COVID-19 test are sanctioned within the ambit of the law, for breaching the public health protocols.”a statement from the presidency read