The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, has emphasized the need to exercise social distancing as a highly recommended measure to curb the widespread of the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of detected cases skyrockets to about 65 as of Thursday, 27th, 2020.
According to a statement signed by the minister’s media aide, Uwa Suleiman, Dr Pantami said: “With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is highly recommended to exercise measures such as social distancing as a necessary precaution towards curbing the spread of the deadly and highly infectious virus.”
He stressed that there is a need for civil servants and the workforce in the country to minimize physical and face-to-face meetings as the disease known to spread primarily through contact with infected persons, surfaces or environments.
To this end, the minister said, “The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy through its parastatal Galaxy Backbone has provided video conferencing, telepresence and video IP phone facilities in most MDAs within its Abuja metro Fiber network,to provide a smart means of communication and collaboration within the public sector.”
He further listed the platforms available to minimize the need for physical meetings while performing the day-to-day functions of government which include IP Voice and Video Telephony Services. About 16,000 unit have been deployed to provide users secure free voice & video communications over Galaxy’s network using physical handsets and software-based endpoints. And Video Conferencing/Tele Presence Services, with the deployment of about 120 terminals to provide real-time video conferencing for users to meet and collaborate with colleagues and partners across various locations nationwide and internationally.
Therefore, Pantami urged MDAs and civil servants to use the Federal Government’s Unified Communication Services (UCS) platform available to provide reliable and secure audio and video communication within the 1Gov network.