We need coordinated health response to end Coronavirus – UN

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of United Nations (UN) in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon has called on all stakeholders to work together to contain the COVID-19 in Nigeria,saying the world is facing an unprecedented test while this is the moment of truth as the world urgently need an immediate coordinated health response to suppress transmission and end the virus pandemic.

Speaking at the launch of Covid-19 Basket Fund for Nigeria in Abuja on Monday, he commended the Federal Government and states, for their efforts in mobilizing financial and non-financial resources to address the impact of COVID-19 in the country.

He said from preliminary macro and micro social economic analysis, the COVID 19 Pandemic is expected to place immense pressure on Nigeria’s healthcare system and will result in a serious economic and fiscal pressure with a risk of a negative social impact if proactive measures are not taken to prevent, prepare, respond and cushion the economic impact of the Pandemic.

“We must respond decisively, innovatively and together to suppress the spread of the virus and address the socio-economic devastation that COVID-19 is causing in our world today. The magnitude of the response must match the scale of the crisis, large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive, with country and international responses being guided by the World Health Organization”, he said.

He added that the National COVID 19 Multisectoral Response Plan is developed around 10 key pillars, including coordination. “The UN would like to urge investment into these 10 key pillars identified in the government plan and support nationwide socio-economic interventions of vulnerable groups, particularly on efforts aimed at scaling up surveillance, testing, isolation, contact tracing, personal protection equipment for medical staff, disinfectants for medical facilities, risk communication, community engagement and clinical management of the critically unwell COVID-19 patients.

“We must tackle the devastating social and economic dimensions of this crisis, with a focus on the most vulnerable and most affected people, women, older persons, people living with disabilities, youth, low-wage workers, small and medium enterprises and the informal sector.

We must pay attention to those in humanitarian and conflict settings where the potential risk of community spread is high”, he said.

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