The Presidential Task Force on Control of COVID-19 Monday expressed concern that some state governments were not sustaining testing even though the country is currently witnessing declining positivity rates every day.
Minister of Health, Mr Osagie Ehanire, expressed this concern at a briefing of the Presidential Task Force in Abuja.
“Seventy nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection were reported in the past 24 hours from 13 states of the Federation, bringing the total number of known cases as of today 14th September, 2020 to 56,256 out of a total of number of 442,075 tests conducted. 44,152 persons have been treated and discharged while 1,082 have sadly been lost to COVID-19.
“Though we continue to record declining positivity rates every day, we are reluctant to conclude that we are halting the spread of disease, because some states have not sustained the testing rate that would give us more assurance.
“Only 13 States, for example, reported their figures in the past 24 hours. This can be better. Until all parts of the country can sustain a certain testing rate, it would seem presumptuous to conclude that we are flattening the curve.
“In the words of Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), we are not safe until everyone is safe. I therefore again request our state governments to ramp up the testing momentum, so that we can together get control of the spread of this disease in our country,” he said.
The minister also appealed to the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to suspend its nationwide strike and come to the negotiation table.
“I use this opportunity to appeal to JOHESU to suspend their industrial action and go into negotiation. The position of the Ministry of Health is that strikes by healthcare workers jeopardise the lives of citizens, especially at such times of global health emergencies as now.
“Nigeria needs the service of all our health workers to control the spread of COVID-19. Issues around allowances are multi-sectoral and have always been saved with negotiations no matter how long it took,” he said.