The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has charged State Governments to ramp up the testing momentum of COVID-19 so that the disease could be controlled in the country.
He made the call at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 media briefing in Abuja, Monday.
Osagie noted that even though the figures of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 seem to be on the decline, the government was not still comfortable because testing for the disease across the country remained low
“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,” he said.
Speaking on the strike embarked upon by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), Osagie reiterated that his ministry was doing everything possible to resolve the bone of contention.
According to him: “It is gratifying that the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has called off their strike, but unhelpful that the Joint Health Sector Union has begun theirs.
“The position of the Ministry of Health is that strikes by healthcare workers jeopardize the lives of citizens, especially at such times of global health emergencies as now.
“Nigeria needs the service of all her health workers, to control COVID-19 spread.
“Issues around allowances are multisectoral and have always been solved with negotiations, no matter how long it took.
“I acknowledge the commitment of health workers who continue to man the frontlines in the fight against this disease and use this opportunity to appeal to JOHESU to suspend their industrial action, not to erode gains we have since made in health care delivery.
“The health ministry is doing all within its power to expedite processes that address the bones of contention.”