The Federal Government has said that it was concerned about the spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, warning that a majority of Nigerians were at the risk of contracting coronavirus.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, gave this warning at a PTF press conference in Abuja, said that the record 681 new infections recorded nationwide on Wednesday, which put total cases at 14,554 were disturbing.
As of Wednesday, Nigeria had recorded 13,873 coronavirus infections, with 382 deaths, while 4,351 patients had been treated and discharged.
However, recorded cases rose from 4,641 on May 11 to 14,554 on Thursday night, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“​Nigeria witnessed a spike in number of confirmed cases when the number of recorded cases jumped to 663 on Tuesday, 9th June, 2020. This number gives us cause for concern as a task force and as a nation.
“In the PTF briefing on Monday, 8th June, 2020, I emphasized that a great majority of Nigerians are still susceptible to COVID-19 and cautioned that if we allow it to transmit easily among us, it may be even more deadly. That admonition remains very valid and we still underscore vigilance and self-preservation.”
Mustapha appealed to state governments to ensure compliance with the PTF protocols, which would stop the transmission of COVID-19.
“The PTF continues to monitor the level of activities and compliance with the guidelines nationwide. Consultations will continue and tonight, I will be holding another round of video conference with the team of governors appointed by the National Economic Council to interface with the PTF.
“The PTF will re-emphasize its appeal to governments at the sub-national level as well as our security agencies to enforce the guidelines and protocols firmly. The PTF would also be meeting with the heads of these agencies to further fine-tune strategies to ensure compliance.”
He disclosed that the task force would soon conclude preparations towards checking the spread of the virus in the 20 high burden local government areas in the country.
Mustapha, however, ruled out the re-introduction of total lockdown in the country as a result of the spike in confirmed cases of COVID-19 experienced lately.
He said the task force would study the situation and would be guided by data, science, experiences in other jurisdictions and by the peculiarities of the nation’s environment.
He said rather than going backward, the PTF would be more concerned about ensuring compliance with the protocols that had been put in place.
“To go back to a total lockdown must be taken within the contest of what we desire to achieve after a lockdown of five weeks and we have seen how much we have fared.
“So, the issue of review, we might not have that in contemplation because you can’t move forward and begin to move backwards again.
“In terms of strategic implementation of our policies, we might not be looking towards that direction. We might be looking at how to strengthen what we have put in place and ensure compliance and other non-pharmaceutical interventions that we have put in place.”