The Federal Government is sending supporting teams to Sokoto and Katsina States for training and capacity building in the prevention, control and management of COVID-19 cases.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said this on Wednesday in Abuja, at the 26th joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said similar teams would be deployed to other states to assist their ministries of health in their responses to the COVID-19 threat.
He said the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country were not unexpected in view of prevailing circumstances in certain states.
According to him, the nation is clearly in community transmission phase, where much now depends on the individual, collective behaviour and the urgency of behaviour change communication becomes apparent.
“Knowledge so far gathered about COVID-19 needs to be converted into practice, because our safety, now more than ever, depends on all of us,” Ehanire said.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, warned security agents against harassing journalists whom, he noted, are rendering an essential service in the fight against COVID-19 and should not in any way be inhibited from working. Some journalists had been reportedly harassed by security agents despite identifying themselves.
“Journalists are part of the essential service. Because, whatever we do here, if you don’t report it, then the news item will not get out to the population.
The adverts we carry on the radio and television are supposed to enhance and equip our people with knowledge and information so that they can take informed decision not to go out there.
“Anything related to press is considered as an essential service for the purposes of allowing you free passage.
“We’ll look at the issue that happened in Lagos and the Minister of Information will take up that.
Because, if we expect the networks to remain open or 24 hours or throughout the night, then when it comes to movement, our security agencies should be adoptive enough to know that these people are coming from their places of work and grant them access,” he said.
National Coordinator of the PTF, Sani Aliyu, said:
“Of course, journalists are exempted. I’m surprised you’re having issues. We’ll release specific clarifications. “We’re meeting with security agencies on Friday and we’ll make it clear people on essential duties are exempted from the curfew.”
Source: News update