The Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank has identified seven items which Nigeria needs urgently from the outside world and from all those who wish to help the country in its fight against the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.
The Foundation comprised of eminent Nigerians like Mathew Kukah, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese, Sokoto, Leo Stan Ekeh, billionaire chairman of Zinox Technology and 15 other members drawn from all the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria and the diaspora (USA & Germany) and chaired by former chairman of Stanbic IBTC, Atedo N. A. Peterside.
The seven items urgently needed, according to the Think Tanks, contained in a statement on Thursday, are test kits, Molecular laboratories + skilled personnel, Surgical face masks and cloth face coverings, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical personnel & Workforce redeployment, Respirators /Ventilators, Hydroxychloroquine & Azithromycin + other drugs and Safety Net.
It says ‘access to test kits is critical’ while urging the government to ramp up its testing capacity.
The statement partly reads: “Access to test kits is critical. The countries that have performed best in containing the pandemic, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam tested extensively and were then able to implement efficient containment processes.
“Testing capacity must be ramped up dramatically. The PCR molecular swab test is the only currently WHO approved diagnostic test for COVID-19. It is highly reliable when positive. We need access to kits for purchase and by donation.
“We need both surgical face masks and cloth face coverings. Surgical masks should be reserved for frontline healthcare personnel. Our textile industry, from small street tailors to factories, should begin to make cloth face coverings for the citizenry.”
The foundation further suggested that the government consider deploying final year medical and nursing students, retirees, and unemployed health professionals of all grades.
“Accept assistance from all countries that have had success in controlling the spread of COVID-19, particularly in the area of training of local manpower,” it stated.
On providing welfare package to Nigerians to ease the effect of the pandemic, the foundation believe that a safety net with handouts to 40 million unemployed and underemployed Nigerians is also needed. While “dietary and monetary donations are needed, accountability in spending is critical.” It added.
As at 09:30 pm 9th April there are 288 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. Fifty-one have been discharged with seven deaths, according to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC.
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