Churches, Mosques, and others are to submit guidelines for reopening to the NCDC-FG

Reading Time: 3 minutes


By Johnson Dike Abuja

Ehanire, stated in Abuja at the press conference of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, that professional groups and faith-based organizations, including churches and mosques, are to submit guidelines for reopening to the NCDC to review and advise.

The Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association has sent its draft of guidelines to reopen interstate transportation, to which the NCDC has acknowledge. 

He advised all other organizations and communities to come up with  similar guidelines to hasten the process of safely reopening the economy.

Ihekweazu said, “I was happy yesterday to receive a new set of draft guidelines by the Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association. Those are people that manage the long distance buses that travel across the country, what we call ‘luxury’ buses.

“They had drafted their own guidelines for reopening safely and sent it to us for review and to advise them on the measures they are now recommending on how to manage their loading centres, buses and engagements with their customers at the point when we may allow them to reopen.

“This is what we’ve been advising every society, organisation, community, be it faith-based, cultural based, professionally based, to come up with guidelines for themselves. We are happy to advise and engage, but this needs to be led and owned by the leaders of those organisations.”

The NCDC DG added that every stakeholder in society needed to take responsibility of the part it owned and managed.

On testing in the country, Ihekweazu said, “We have about 400 Gene Xpert machines across the country. Not all of them are appropriate for COVID. We need those that have a safety cabinet where they are located. We also need those that are functional. Some of them have been around for quite a while.

“We have to prioritise, so we continue to do this. Seventeen of them are immediately ready for deployment in the first phase, which will start next week. I’m happy to announce that our first set of Gene Xpert cartridges will arrive in Nigeria on May 25.”

He added that there were criteria for deciding which state would get the machines first with states without any laboratory been the first to be considered then states with high number of cases.

Ihekweazu also advised Nigerians to accept the fact that COVID-19 is real and he explained why the PTF could not go ahead with home treatment of COVID-19 patients it once proposed,

He said, “We have struggled with these decisions in Nigeria because we are struggling with the realities of where we live and the contexts that we live in. We want to prevent transmission, therefore we want to institutionalise the treatment of everyone,

“We recognise that the circumstances that many Nigerians live in make home isolation difficult and, sometimes, an impossible option for many people who live in very tight accommodation in family groups and communities.”

But Lagos state on the other hand will be releasing stay home guidelines next week. The Lagos state health Commissioner stated

 “So, there are people who are already practising self-isolation on their own, because we can’t find them, and the numbers they give us maybe they are false numbers. When we go to visit them in their homes, they had absconded from their residences. They are isolating themselves in different places.

“In effect, the concept of home isolation is being practised by many Nigerians even though it is not a national policy, but the people of Lagos are practising home isolation, which is one of the reasons as a government we are trying to transit to home care because it is happening anyway. So, we might as well regularise it and make it an official option for some people who are mild or asymptomatic to isolate themselves at home.

“We are spending a lot of time working around parameters of what home isolation will look like. In another week or so, we will give definitive parameters on how the state will integrate home care with our isolation strategy.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.