By Abujah Racheal
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has advised those in isolation centres to follow the recommendations of their healthcare providers.
Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the PTF, gave the advice on Thursday in Abuja at the PTF daily briefing.
Mustapha said that COVID-19 patients must follow instructions of the healthcare providers during their stay, as treatment would be largely dependent on their evaluation.
According him, the PTF has become aware of a number of challenges associated with the management of isolation centres.
He said that the challenges had manifested in the form of protests over welfare, abscondment from centres and complaints based on the assumption by persons under observation, that drugs must be administered.
“The first two are unhealthy developments capable of undermining the containment measures and putting the lives of care managers and frontline workers at risk,” Mustapha said.
He urged state governments to continue to pay attention to the welfare of people in isolation, adding that relevant agencies should provide adequate security around such facilities to prevent escape.
Mustapha disclosed that the first batch of 256 Nigerian evacuees arrived from the United Arab Emirates into the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, on Wednesday.
He said that all the evacuees had been taken into 14-day isolation at designated facilities in the state.
“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control will conduct appropriate tests to determine their status within the period of isolation.
“The PTF is finalising arrangement for similar evacuation from other parts of the world; you will be adequately briefed on developments.
“I want to express the appreciation of PTF on COVID-19 to Gov. Babajide Sanwa-Olu of Lagos for support in identifying and securing the facility for the mandatory 14-day isolation of returnees,” he said.
He said that for some time now, there had been claims of inventions and cures related to COVID-19.
”The PTF, as part of its mandate, remains supportive of and receptive to outcomes of research.
“The PTF, however, finds it imperative to re-iterate its position on the need for such discoveries to undergo scientific validation processes.
“The PTF is aware that the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department of the Federal Ministry of Health has been evaluating such claims.
”It has forwarded some that have met the preliminary requirements to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control to carry out necessary procedures for listing,” he said.
Mustapha urged professional bodies, trade associations, communities and religious bodies and other relevant stakeholders to create awareness on COVID-19 and also project into the post COVID-19 era.
“I am pleased to inform you that the Nigerian Institute of Architects has taken up the challenge and, in addition, conveyed the commitment of its members to offer free consultancy services (design, remodeling, supervision etc).
”The services is for COVID-19-related infrastructure such as isolation centres, test laboratories and upgrading of health facilities,” he said.
The SGF urged all state governments to save costs by taking advantage of the offer.
He said that the PTF appreciated the offer and look forward to receiving offers from other professional bodies.
He called on Nigerians to continue to collaborate with governments in the implementation of available guidelines.
On flights, he said that the four-week extension of ban took effect from Thursday night.
“We shall continue to give exemptions for flights and circumstances that are considered essential,” he said.
In his remarks, the PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, also said that flights remained prohibited except essential and emergency ones.
Aliyu said that the mandatory overnight curfew from 8.00p.m.to 6.00a.m. was still in place, except for essential workers such as health workers, journalists, drivers moving essential items.
He called on Nigerians to follow all government guidelines on COVID-19 prevention.