Below are May 11, 2020 Keynotes from the Daily Briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
On Madagascar COVID-19 Syrup
==> SGF: Madagascar has made allocations to various countries, & sent them to Guinea Bissau. We‘re supposed to make arrangements to freight Nigeria’s allocation from Guinea Bissau; it‘ll be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals.
==> SGF: Mr President has given instructions for the airlifting of Nigeria’s allocation of the Madagascar #Covid19 Syrup; also given clear instructions that it must be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals; there will be no exceptions for this.
==> SGF: Nigeria has only one National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Where there are differing Strategies is in the implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions. But as far as the (Health) Response is concerned, there is only one National Response.
On Molecular NCDC Laboratory
==> DG NCDC: 23 Molecular Labs now activated and operational in the NCDC Network.
==> DG NCDC: We will be integrating private sector labs into our laboratory architecture; guidelines will be published tonight. Private Labs that want to join the network should download it & see what is required; we will be available to support them through the process.
==> DG NCDC: We need to develop a National Laboratory Information Management System; we are working to integrate that into the Surveillance Outbreak Response Management & Analysis System (SORMAS) system, so that we can have real-time access to Laboratory results instead of having to send results from one place to another.
==> DG @NCDC: Instead of having different Labs for diagnosing Covid, HIV, Measles, TB, etc, Nigeria needs to have a National network of Molecular Labs that can diagnose multiple infections. After this pandemic Nigeria will not be the same in terms of Lab diagnostics capacity.
On Community Transmission
DG NCDC: Community transmission happening especially in Lagos and Kano.
On Evacuation of Nigerian Citizens Abroad
==> Minister of Foreign Affairs: We have now evacuated over 600 Nigerians from Dubai, London and Newark. I’d like to thank all the Heads of our Missions in the UAE, UK and US, they’ve all worked very hard to deliver results.
==> Minister of Foreign Affairs: Apologizes again for what went wrong with the transfer from Lagos to Abuja for the evacuees from the UK, on Friday, and also the hitches faced in Abuja. “We have put in place mechanisms to ensure no such thing occurs again.”
==> Minister of Foreign Affairs: There are still many Nigerians out there, who want to return home: from China, India, France, Canada, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan and other countries.
On Evacuation Flights
==> Minister of Foreign Affairs: We‘re getting to the maximum capacity we can cope with, in terms of care, at this time. We will therefore be staggering our evacuation flights, and dealing with the evacuees in place first, before bringing others back.
==> Minister of Foreign Affairs: Govt mindful of need to use local carriers. Arrangements for Airlines for first batch of flights weren’t done by Govt. Flights being arranged henceforth are all Nigerian carriers; we intend to use only Nigerian Airlines henceforth.