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What Nigeria govt need to fight Covid-19— Ibekwe

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What Nigeria govt need to fight Covid-19--- IbekweThe Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says the country requires N1.6 billion emergency funding to fight Coronavirus (COVID19).

Dr Precillia Ibekwe, Deputy Director, Special Duties, NCDC, disclosed this at a news briefing addressed by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, an update on the virus on Friday in Abuja.

News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), reports that the Federal Government has so far identified 61 contacts of the index Covid-19 case currently placed under supervision.

Ibekwe said the emergency fund when considered would be used to contain the spread of the virus in the country.

She said the fund would particularly be spent on infection prevention and control, surveillance and epidemiology, case management, laboratory diagnosis, logistics, supply as well as risk communication activities.

The Special duties director said the fund would also support facilities to help prevent, assess and respond to health events at Point of Entry and to ensure National Health Security in the country.

She expressed delight in intervention by the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) that had pledged of N200 million to support the government towards curbing the spread of the virus in the country.

“So far, what Nigeria has gotten was strictly domestic funding. Some of the assistance we get from donors are in form of policy advice, technical assistance, while some of them build on existing instruments and expertise to help the country respond to the virus”, she said.

Ibekwe further explained that the NCDC was in talks with local and international partners to get the needed funding, adding that the money gathered so far was being utilised to scale up responses.

She, however, urged the private sector and other philanthropists to support the government’s efforts in strengthening preparedness and responses to COVID-19.

“Businesses are only as strong as the communities they are apart. Private organisations need to figure out how to support coronavirus response efforts by providing money, equipment, or expertise.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, we are truly all in this together. The work of public health is everyone’s business and it requires all citizens to get involved in the fight”, she said.

NAN, reports that the first tranche of the N620 million budgeted for emergency response on the COVID19 outbreak has been released by the federal government.

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