By Monsuru Olowoopejo
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of N10 billion to Lagos State Government, for the provision of medical facilities and other needs to break the circle of coronavirus in the country.
Buhari added that the fund was released after Lagos State Government requested for financial support to combat and contain the spread of coronavirus in the state.
The approval from the president came minutes after the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed that of the 14 new cases recorded, which increased the number of confirmed cases in the country to 65, Lagos State recorded 12 and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja recording two others.
In a statement released by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President stressed that the fund was effected within two days of the request, even after he assured that new measures could be introduced if they would ensure the protection of Nigerians.
Aside from Lagos, he disclosed that the approval of N5 billion special intervention requested by NCDC was also granted to assist the agency secure equipment and expand its facilities and laboratories.
“I also approved NCDC’s request for an aircraft from the Presidential Air Fleet for the airlifting of three critical members of the NCDC team who are stuck in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo where they went for a training organsied by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“These measures are in addition to the ones approved and announced by the Presidential Task Force, PTF including the closure of land borders to human traffic for four weeks; the conversion of all Hajj transit camps to be utilized as COVID-19 isolation centers; the directive that all non-essential government employees work from home and for a daily briefing of the nation through the PTF.
“Other approved measures already put into place include the ban of flights from and into the country, suspension of the Federal Executive Council and National Council of State meetings and a directive for engagements, at the highest levels between the Federal Government and the state governments” he added.
Buhari has also directed the escalation of the nation’s capacity for testing and detection with the acquisition of testing kits and establishment of additional test centers; acquisition of Personnel Protection Equipment and the mobilization of experts and trained staff serving and recall of some of those retired.
“The closure of schools and tertiary institutions and the suspension of religious and other gatherings above the 50 prescribed number are also parts of the measures approved and are in place.