The Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19 says Nigeria had made tremendous progress in containing the disease, citing data from other nations. According to the taskforce, the curve was flattening.
The panel, however, cautioned that this “positive development should be taken with vigilance and cautious optimism based on the fact that we are convinced that we have not tested enough, as we have only recently reopened our international flights.”
The PTF noted that countries that opened their economies earlier had done a re-thinking following the resurgence of infections.
It appealed to health workers to suspend their strike, stating that Nigeria could ill afford any further disruptions to its health sector.
According to the Federal Government, industrial action has been damning to lives. It promised to resolve the crisis through negotiation.
PTF Chairman and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who spoke at the committee’s briefing in Abuja, reminded Nigerians that the world has hit 30,026,460 cases, with Africa getting 1,380,223 of the infections, while Nigeria posts 56,604 incidents.
He noted that “these numbers are reminders that point to the need to gird our loins tightly in our national response and build stronger as well as more unified global collaborative efforts to overcome the virus.”
He said: “PTF is closely watching the developments at the airports and comments and observations of well-meaning Nigerians and passengers. Most of the comments are around the protocols and requirements for departure, arrivals, testing in-country, and self-isolation.
“While the PTF regrets all inconveniences experienced by arriving passengers, I wish to state that the overriding public interest is a critical factor propelling the policies. The issues with access to the portal, cost, pre-boarding validity timing, and other factors remain work in progress and shall be reviewed as and when necessary.
“The PTF shall remain open to your suggestions and comments.”
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, observed that the government’s target was to lower the fatality rate to less than one per cent, but added that the fresh challenge being that most deaths come from late cases that had become severe.