The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu said the PTF had released N1bn each to 32 state governments for the purposes of driving the COVID-19 response.
Aliyu, at the briefing of the PTF in Abuja urged the benefitting states, which he did not name, to use the fund for the intended purposes.
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He said: “We’ve released money to 32 state governments recently; each state government was given N1bn, for the purpose of driving COVID-19 responses, and we’re asking them to please prioritise testing in addition to surveillance activities linked COVID-19.
“We urge state governments to please publicize their sample collection locations so that people can access them.”
Aliyu also stated that the PTF was not convinced that Nigeria was flattening the COVID-19 curve yet.
He bemoaned the drop in testing for the virus across the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and PTF Chairman, Mr. Boss Mustapha, had last Thursday, said Nigeria was flattening the curve of the virus.
Aliyu such a claim could only be made when the country was having enough aggressive testing.
He said the “fatigue factor” had already started setting in with Nigerians, as most people seemed to have become tired of the COVID-19.
He, however, warned that “allowing fatigue at this time could sabotage the gains previously made in the national response”, adding that this could lead to reintroduction of restrictions.
Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the NCDC, the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research and their partners would conduct anti-bodies household surveys in Lagos, Gombe, Nasarawa and Enugu States to broaden the understanding of the burden of COVID-19 infection in the country.
Ihekweazu said the survey would provide the best evidence yet, on the extent of COVID-19 infection in Nigeria.
“This is done by testing blood samples in randomly selected households in selected states.
“For Nigeria’s COVID-19 seroprevalence survey, household members will answer a brief questionnaire, be tested for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, as well as for acute COVID-19, if they consent.
He said the surveys would increase the current understanding of COVID-19 transmission patterns, the burden of infection in the population and the age groups most affected.
“This information will help inform COVID-19 response decisions by the Government of Nigeria and partners as part of measures towards ending the pandemic.
“Through this, the country can identify risk factors for infection and measure the transmission of COVID-19 within households.”