OBINNA EZUGWU

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has extended the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 till the end of March 2021.

The president who announced the extension in a statement on Tuesday, said it became necessary in view of the new surge in the number of cases, and the bid for vaccines.

“I am extending the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 till the end of March 2021, bearing in mind the new surge in the number of cases, and the bid for vaccines,” he said.

“Nigeria cannot afford to lose the gains of the last nine months. I have critically evaluated the situation and remain convinced that urgent measures have to be taken to halt the spread of the Coronavirus and the attendant fatalities.”

Buhari encouraged Nigerians to be vigilant, especially during the festivities, noting that now is the time for collective efforts against the virus to be intensified.

“There is also the need to speedily and strategically access and administer the COVID vaccine in a safe, effective and timely manner. This is an important obligation that we owe Nigerians as we go into year 2021, and it must be carried out through an efficient machinery,” he noted.

“Now is the time for collective efforts to be intensified. I therefore urge all sub-national entities, traditional rulers, religious and leaders of thought to collaborate with the PTF by taking up the responsibility for risk communication and community engagement at all levels.

“As the festive season approaches, I urge all Nigerians to remain vigilant and stay safe. Non-essential trips and large social gatherings should be avoided or shelved completely.”