By Abujah Racheal
Abuja, Oct. 19, 2020 The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has trained 17,000 healthcare workers to battle and contain the pandemic, according to PTF National Coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu.
Aliyu, who disclosed this on Monday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the PTF, said that the trainees were trained on infection, prevention and control.
Other areas included laboratory operations and case management, he added.
He thanked healthcare workers for their dedication and partnership, saying that PTF, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, had added 7,000 beds in more than 130 treatment centres.
Other beneficiaries of the additional beds are 215 intensive care units, he said, adding that the beds were purchased with the support of donors and private-sector partners.
“Since we started this activity back in March, tomorrow (Tuesday), will be 31 weeks since the PTF was inaugurated. I think it is important for us to know that we have put in a significant amount of work and we do have quite measurable output.
“Some months back, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), set an ambitious target for testing with states expected to test up to one percent of their population.
“In seven months, two states – the FCT and Lagos- have now reached that target.
“Three states – Rivers, Plateau and Gombe – are halfway towards achieving the target of testing one percent of the population. We will continue to urge these states and others left behind to try and catch up,” he said.
The coordinator also said that PTF had worked with the NCDC to approve 69 certified public laboratories across Nigeria to ensure that free testing was available to those who needed it the most.
According to him, there is at least one molecular laboratory in every state in the country.
He also reacted to reports that 181 students and staff of a private boarding school in the Lekki area of Lagos had tested positive for COVID-19.
“That development brings to the fore the risk associated with relaxing some of the restrictions which we are all very much aware of, and have continued to monitor closely.
“I will like to encourage state governments to continue to take appropriate steps to monitor and ensure that instances of this kind are managed well in line with national guidelines for treatment.
“There is no doubt that we must continue to remain vigilant as most schools open across the country,” he added.