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Nigeria gets $1.4 million UN Covid – 19 basket fund as 50 ventilators arrive this week

Nigeria has so far gotten $1.4 million United States Dollars from the Nigerian-UN Covid -19 basket Fund launched on Monday to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, 50 ventilators and other other medical supplies will arrive the country before the end of this week to help in fight against the dreaded coronavirus.

Sani Aliyu, National Coordinator of the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on Covid- 19 announced announced this Monday in Abuja at the resumed briefing of the Taskforce.

Aliyu said the fund set up to acquire equipment for the containment of coronavirus is independent of government and money donated there will not come even to the Presidential Taskforce or to the Federal Government, insisting that donations must be in kind.

“First of all I would like to mention to the  public the launch of the Nigerian UN Covid -19 basket fund which has been done this morning. This is an initiative set up by the UN system together with multisectoral partners as well as the private sector. The plan is to have a specific fund from the UN donations and International donors.

“The fund will be used to procure commodities including ventilators; things that are at the moment proven very difficult to acquire through the normal route and the UN system has the advantage of having the reach and will be able to negotiate with the national governments.

“To this end, they have already put in $1.4 billion USD so far with commodities coming in over this week, including about 50 ventilators. I want to emphasize that this fund is completely independent of government, no money will come to the Presidential Taskforce  or to the Federal Government. The donations will be in kind and that’s what we are encouraging other sectors to please do”, he said.

The PTF Co-ordinator also disclosed that it has intensified the distribution of covid -19 awareness materials across the states, local government and various media platforms, to enable all Nigerians have knowledge of the killer disease, it’s symptoms and preventive measures.

He dispelled wrongful notions that covid-  19 was an elitist disease and can affect only the rich, adding that there was no discrimination in testing and treatment provided anyone, irrespective of status has the symptoms, such fever, cough and respiratory challenges.

Aliyu reminded States Chief Executives of the earlier directives by the Taskforce to have Isolation Centres with at least 300 bed spaces and expressed appreciation to medical personnel, the private sector and those providing essential services in this crisis period.

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