Eased Lockdown Measures Yielded Progress – PTF
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha says measures put in place during the phased eased lockdown have produced adequate progress.
The PTF chairman who stated this at the daily press briefing added that the progress requires an alliance to ensure that the health system and economy are in a position to adequately respond to any potential outcomes in the future, including a secondary outbreak.
He stated that within the two weeks of Phase One of the eased lockdown, the following accomplishments were recorded:
There was an increase in the number of laboratories in the COVID-19 network from 15 to 26,
Additional 15,558 tests were conducted in the country (with a cumulative total of 35,098 tests and the number of tests per million increasing from 50 to 154.
The number of trained personnel was increased to 11,409 health workers thereby expanding capacity for case management.
Procurement and distribution of additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators across the country.
The number of beds available for isolation and case management increased from 3500 to 5000 beds nationwide.
The efficiency of the identification, testing, evacuation, and isolation process for confirmed cases has increased; and progressive improvement in capacity of the health system to respond to the outbreak.
Speaking on the reopening of the economy, Mr Mustapha said:
“The gradual re-opening of the economy has been sign-posted by the controlled opening, and increased access to markets and supermarkets, Banks and other income yielding activities for the vulnerable population” he explained.
He noted that Corporations and Government offices partially opened their operations and services to facilitate the activities of other sectors.
“Some manufacturing, construction and allied sectors also resumed. All these sectors ensured that adequate infection mitigation measures were put in place” the SGF added.
Mustapha listed some of the stimulus packages the Federal Government offered to businesses and state Governments through the CBN to include:
Reduction of interest rates from 9% to 5% for all CBN intervention facilities.
Restructuring of loans to longer tenors for all companies whose businesses are adversely impacted by COVID-19.
N50billion facilities to household and businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19 through NIRSAL Micro Finance Bank;
N100bn facility to Pharmaceutical and health sectors companies to retool their businesses.
N1 trillion facility to Agric and Manufacturing companies to expand and set up new factories; and suspension of repayment of all state government loans for one year to give states ample financing room to pay salaries.