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HomeBusinessBuhari Extends PTF Mandate By Three Months, Calls For Collaboration

Buhari Extends PTF Mandate By Three Months, Calls For Collaboration

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By Babatunde Tunde

President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 by three months until March 2021.

This is even as the President urged all sub-national entities, traditional rulers, religious and leaders of thought to collaborate with the PTF by taking up the responsibility for risk communication and community engagement at all levels.

President Buhari made these known on Tuesday at a meeting with members of the task force at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He noted that the mandate of the PTF was extended for a further period of three months, bearing in mind the new surge in the number of cases and the bid for vaccines.

According to the President, recent reports have indicated that Nigeria is facing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, a situation that is similar to the second wave of infections recorded in other countries.

He added that new epicentres have been identified and Nigeria cannot afford to lose the gains of the last nine months.

“Accordingly, I have authorised the following measures for implementation:

The extension of the mandate of the PTF for a further period till the end of March 2021 bearing in mind the new surge in the number of cases and the bid for vaccines. That the PTF should coordinate the process for planning and the strategy for accessing, delivery, and administration of the vaccines using the existing health structures that have worked in the past in vaccine administration;

I have also authorised the PTF to engage with the States for them to assume full ownership of this stage of the response by deploying legal structures and resources, including enforcement to manage the pandemic within their jurisdictions. Details of the advisory measures have already been announced; and also authorised the PTF and the Nigeria Immigration Service to ensure that all in-bound passengers who failed to show up for the post-arrival COVID-19 test are sanctioned within the ambit of the law, for breaching the public health protocols.

The nation is clearly in a perilous situation given the virulent nature of this second wave and we must act decisively to protect our people” President Buhari said in the speech.

The President also called on Nigerians to celebrate the festive season with vigilance and caution.

“As the festive season approaches, I urge all Nigerians to remain vigilant and stay safe. Non-essential trips and large social gatherings should be avoided or shelved completely” he added

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