The National Economic Council (NEC) has expressed alarm at the spike in Covid-19 cases in Nigeria and expanded its ad-hoc committee saddled with finding measures to check the trend.
At its monthly meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja on Thursday, the Council decided to act on the strict enforcement of measures to contain the spread of the disease across the country. In a resolution released after the virtual meeting attended by State Governors, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and other federal Ministers, the Council noted that it “is alarmed that the current trends are now approaching or surpassing the levels reached during the lockdown imposed at the height of the epidemic earlier in the year.”
The NEC further noted that “the trends also show that more and more younger people are getting infected. While many of the young victims may be asymptomatic or recover without serious illness, they pass the virus to older and more vulnerable people, especially people with pre-existing health conditions, who develop serious illnesses and may easily lose their lives in the process.
“Sadly, the country is now experiencing a huge resurgence of COVID-19 patients needing intensive care and the existing health facilities are fast becoming overwhelmed.” While enlarging the membership of its Ad-Hoc Committee on Covid-19 and mandating it to urgently come up with additional measures to deal with the spike in cases, NEC noted that “the country is now experiencing a huge resurgence of Covid-19 patients needing intensive care and the existing health facilities are fast becoming overwhelmed.” The Committee chaired by the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa with the Governors of Lagos, Bauchi, Plateau, Kano, Anambra and the FCT Minister, has now been enlarged with the addition of the Governors of Ogun and Kaduna States.
The Minister of Health is also a member of the Committee, while the Ministers of Information and Youth and Sports have also been asked to join.
Also, Health and Information Commissioners in the States would also now be co-opted into the assignment.
The Vice-President asked the Committee to urgently develop innovative and new measures to curtail the spread of the disease, acting in the best interests of both the health and overall welfare of Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the NEC members expressed outrage on the kidnapping of schoolboys in their school premises at Government Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.
The Council resolution “utterly condemned the brazen act of the abductors as not only criminal and lawless but a deliberate attempt to sow seeds of fear in people.
“The members while supporting immediate steps already taken by the Federal and State governments to rescue the boys, urged for more effective collaboration between security agencies and the communities to ensure that such despicable act does not repeat itself anywhere in the country.”