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The federal government has dispatched a ministerial team of experts to Cross River to determine material and technical needs on the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

The Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, made this known during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 daily press briefing on Monday in Abuja.

Mr Mamora said the team would also access the level of preparedness by the state to fight the pandemic.

He said the ministry in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had developed a Sub-National Risk-Based Decision Making Matrix for risk assessments at the 36 states of the federation and Local Government Area levels.

“The NCDC has trained first aid workers in Gombe state and have also supported the screening of Almajirai coming into Jigawa,” he said.

The minister also said a high level technical meeting on the output of the National Response COVID-19 Mid-Action Review had been held.

“The agreement reached at this meeting will help to strengthen our response and development strategies to reach more communities,” he stated.

He, however, said in Kano state, the response had been restructured to be more responsive and positioned to effectively tackle the pandemic.

Mr Mamora said mortality in Sokoto and Kano states had significantly reduced.

He stated that Lagos, Kano and Borno accounted for 52 per cent of COVID-19 related deaths in the country.

The minister stated that Nigerians must be responsible for others by adhering to the guidelines.

The National Coordinator, PTF, Sani Aliyu, said that fake news was damaging the credibility of COVID-19 response in the country and Nigerians must do more to verify the messages they received.

“Promoting the ideas that COVID-19 is not real is not helpful,” he said.

He said that allowances for security agents were currently being processed, but they would need to purchase Personal Protective Equipment from their budget lines.

The coordinator stated that meetings had been held with security chiefs to discuss human rights abuses.

He added that this was not new to the COVID-19 alone, as it had been lingering for a while, but the PTF team would continue to engage with security chiefs to tackle this issue.

Mr Aliyu said security agencies needed to be mindful of respecting the rights of citizens and citizens also needed to be respectful of officers.

He noted that compliance had been very low and compliance was necessary.

As of May 17, 2020, 338 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

The NCDC said no new state reported a case in the last 24 hours.

Till date, the centre said 5,959 cases had been confirmed, 1, 594 have been discharged while 182 deaths were recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.


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