The President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, in Abuja said only a collective international approach would mitigate the effect of COVID-19.
He also assured that the Federal Government would intensify efforts to monitor, test, and isolate more people, especially at the community level.
Buhari, who participated in a virtual Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, said national, regional and global strategies would be required to tackle the pandemic.
This was contained in a statement by Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
He said, “The theme of this extra-ordinary Summit ‘United Against COVID-19 Pandemic,’ aptly reflects the importance for a proactive approach and the need for multilateral cooperation in finding quick solutions to the challenges that COVID-19 pandemic poses to our nations.
“Since the outbreak of the disease, countries have made concerted efforts to limit the spread of the pandemic within and outside their borders as well as treating those infected by the virus.
“Two weeks ago, we in West Africa came together to work out a common sub-regional response to the crisis. The summit appointed me the Champion to lead our efforts on fighting the pandemic in our region.”
The president said the task before the international community remained daunting, adding that more needs to be done to reduce the impact of COVID-19.
He said, “It is now clearly evident that no nation can independently and singlehandedly tackle a pandemic of this nature which is no respecter of borders, regions or status.
“Invariably, enhancing multilateral cooperation through exchange and sharing of best practices is imperative to overcome the disease. We must, therefore, form a united front against this common enemy by being coordinated and timely in our responses.
“Furthermore, we must all encourage and empower our scientists and medical experts to join the quest for a vaccine and cure to this universal plague.
“It is, therefore, essential to fully collaborate and support their initiatives in coordinating the international fight against the pandemic. Such efforts should include the protection of our medical workers, provision of medical supplies, especially test kits and ultimately, finding a vaccine to cure the disease.’’
President Buhari “urged international financial institutions to assist member states in cushioning the negative impact of the pandemic in the spirit of solidarity, which will include extending concessional loans, technical support, lowering of tariff on medical equipment and consumables, sharing of expertise in case management, adopting open trade policies, as well as outright debt cancellation.
“Within the spirit of South-South cooperation, we must also assist one another, particularly the less developed and less endowed member states with technical, medical, and financial assistance. It is by so doing that we can rightly claim to uphold the Bandung Principles of equality, mutual interests, and cooperation.’’
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