At last, Nigeria’s Buhari belatedly sets up task force to combat coronavirus

Chief White House Correspondent for | + posts

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari seemed to wake up from his slumber on Monday and set up a task force to combat the fast spreading coronavirus which causes a potentially deadly respiratory disease called COVID-19.

COVID-19 has killed close to 4000 people around the world and spread to about a hundred countries. Yet, the Buhari administration and other African nations have continued to behave as if they were immune.

At least two persons have already been infected and hundreds are being monitored.

“Given the current global outbreak of the novel Coronavirus and its potential of causing significant disruption to health services in the country as well as impacting negatively on the economy, President Muhammadu Buhari has established a Presidential Task Force for the Control of the Coronavirus-19 Disease (COVID-19),” the presidency said in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.

“This action is in preparation for the unlikely but probable major outbreak of the disease in the country which will require a multi-sectoral inter-governmental approach as advised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) similar to that adopted for the HIV epidemic in the last two decades,” the government said.

It added that the start and finish task group which would be expected to deliver within a maximum period of six months, comprises the following:

a.     Mr. Boss Mustapha (SGF) – Chair

b.     Dr. Sani Aliyu – National Coordinator

c.      Hon. Minister of Health

d.     Hon. Minister of Interior

e.     Hon. Minister of Aviation

f.       Hon. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Services

g.     Hon. Minister of Education

h.     Hon. Minister of Information and Culture

i.        Hon. Minister of Environment

j.       Director-General, State Services

k.     Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

l.        WHO Country Representative

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