- FG has warned the state governors against diverting COVID-19 funds
- Sani Aliyu, the national coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, said the government has sent N1 billion each to 32 states to fight the virus
- Aliyu, however, said the claim that Nigeria was flattening the curve of the virus could not be substantiated
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The federal government on Monday, September 21, said that the sum of N32 billion has been released to state governors to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic in their domains.
Daily Trust reports that this was disclosed by the national coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu.
Legit.ng gathered that he said the PTF had released N1bn each to 32 state governors for the purpose of driving the COVID-19 response.
Aliyu, however, urged the benefitting states to use the fund for the intended purposes.
"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 to COVID-19.
“We urge state governments to please publicize their sample collection locations so that people can access them.”
He also noted that the PTF was not convinced that Nigeria was flattening the COVID-19 curve yet, decrying the drop in testing for the virus across the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and PTF chairman, Boss Mustapha, had on Thursday, September 17, said Nigeria was flattening the curve of the virus.
Aliyu said 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 the reintroduction of restrictions.
Also, the director-general of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the agency, 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 on the extent of COVID-19 infection in Nigeria. He said:
“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.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the federal government called for more vigilance on the possible resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic as some states announce schools resumption.
The warning was given by the chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Monday, September 21, in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the taskforce.
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