…..lauds the commitment and dedication of frontline health workers in the fight against the pandemic.
In a bid to assist the Federal Government to scale up its Covid-19 response, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority has handed over 126 units of Patient Monitors and 63 units of Oxygen Concentrators to 21 health facilities in the six zones of the country.
The supply of oxygen concentrators and patient monitors is expected to boost government’s efforts to provide an efficient and effective healthcare response for coronavirus patients.
Persecondnews recalls that shortage of oxygen concentrators and patient monitors had been reported across the country and it is slowing down government’s ability in providing an efficient and effective response for the patients.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha made the virtual handing over of the items on Thursday.
He noted that COVID-19 pandemic had negatively impacted the global community, thereby disrupting well established healthcare systems.
As at January 27, the country recorded 1,861 new cases in 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory, taking the total confirmed cases to 126,160, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
No fewer than 22 persons died of the virus on Wednesday bringing the number of deaths nationwide to 1,544.
Mustapha, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, recalled that the Federal Government had introduced some stringent measures to contain the virus.
Some of the measures included the ban on flights, the imposition of curfew, nationwide lockdown, and compulsory wearing of face masks.
Lamenting the lack of compliance with COVID-19 protocols by some Nigerians, Mustapha said it had compelled the government to enact the Coronavirus Disease Health Protection Regulation of 2021 Act.
It was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 26.
In addition, the Federal Government had rehabilitated oxygen plants and will be constructing one each of the 36 states, the PTF chair said.
“We know that our nation is at war with this pervasive enemy and we will ensure that the virus won’t spread further.
“We are happy that the NSIA has assisted in providing these facilities and this equipment is a welcome development. It could not have come at a better time.
“This administration will continue to come up with measures to stop the spread of the virus. We cannot stop the spread if we fail to take responsibility.
“To those in doubt, Covid-19 is real, wear your face mask, maintain social distancing and if you can, do not travel. I want us to treat everyone as a potential carrier of Covid-19,” Mustapha said.
He lauded the commitment and dedication of frontline health workers in the fight against the pandemic.
The Managing Director of NSIA, Mr Uche Orji, said the health sector remained the focus of the body.
He expressed the hope that the equipment would the government to effectively fight the pandemic.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, thanked NSIA’s intervention at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre Umuahia and the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital.
He promised that the government would work closely with the NSIA to reduce medical tourism in the country.
On her part, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the Federal Government had introduced some measures to cushion the negative impact of the pandemic on the economy.
The Federal Government has adjusted the 2021 budget to boost funding for the health care sector, It is raising funds to acquire Covid-19 vaccines for Nigerians, she said.
She noted that the Economic Sustainability Plan launched at the peak of the outbreak of the virus in 2020 had provided stability and reduced the impact of the pandemic on the economy.
“I want to encourage the NSIA to continue its assistance in the health care sector. The equipment will help to offer succour to families affected by Covid-19,” she said.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu disclosed that in the last one year, about 120,000 Covid-19 cases had been recorded with fatalities put at 1,500.