The Federal Government has announced that it would close any private hospitals and other health facilities that treat COVID-19 patients without a license.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, stated this during the media briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Ehanire said that the objective now is to carry out more community testing and social mobilisation at the grassroots to ensure social distancing.
The Federal Government also announced that two airlines have been shortlisted for the evacuation of Nigerians stranded in foreign countries with high cases of COVID-19.
The government also assured the nation that part of its efforts towards combating the virus includes a budgetary provision for research into finding a vaccine.
The FG warned that without strict adherence to the guidelines it had put up to contain the virus, the pandemic would spread to the 36 states of the federation.
Ehanire appealed to Nigerians not to stigmatize people infected with the pandemic, stating that such behaviour was capable of disrupting efforts of the government towards arresting the spread of the virus.
The Ministers explained that the government would push out more messages and advisories on the use of masks or improvised face coverings such as handkerchiefs or scarves to reduce the risk of transmission.
I shall use this opportunity to again strongly advise health professionals against private or secret management of people who have COVID-19 outside of accredited health facilities. We cannot afford avoidable morbidity and mortality,”
Private facilities must obtain accreditation to treat this highly infectious disease. Practitioners engaging in unauthorised treatment of COVID-19 run the risk of being shut down for decontamination.”
Ehanire further described the latest COVID-19 fatality that occurred in Lagos, which claimed the life of a medical doctor, as unfortunate.
The federal government has been appealing to health workers to adhere to all instructions and regulations and to always utilise personal protective equipment (PPE) while maintaining a high index of suspicion for COVID-19, as part of efforts to avoid such incident in the future.
In a bid to achieve the increase the 3,000 national testing capacity target, Ehanire said that two more laboratories are scheduled to be opened in Borno and Sokoto states.