The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has condemned the activities of those taking advantage of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to flood the market with substandard products.
Mr Boss Mustapha, who is the PTF chairman, stated this on Thursday in his remarks at the team’s briefing in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He decried that a very large quantity of alcohol-based hand sanitisers purchased by residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was not registered with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
“As part of the non-pharmaceutical measures, we recommended in line with global practice, the use of hand sanitisers. Ordinarily, that ought to stimulate local production because of increased demand,” Mustapha told reporters at the briefing.
He added, “We regret to inform you that following a survey conducted by the Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) to check the influx of substandard goods into the market, it was revealed that 63% of alcohol-based sanitizers in Abuja do not have NAFDAC registration numbers.
“There could also be similar situations around the country. The Honourable Minister of Health has consequently issued an advisory to the general public to procure their sanitisers and other pharmaceutical products from credible sources.”
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), lamented that the virulent nature of COVID-19 has continued to torment humanity going by numbers around the world.
He condoled with the families, friends, and associates of those who have lost the battle to the virus in Nigeria at various times.
The PTF chairman promised that the government would continue to monitor developments and communicate with Nigerians in the most effective ways, the risks associated with contracting the virus.
He, however, urged the people to comply with the non-pharmaceutical measures put in place by the relevant authorities.
According to Mustapha, the reasons for extending phase two of the eased lockdown are still present and there is a need for the people to change their behavior.
“As we continue to monitor compliance, we emphasise that all restrictions that have been eased remain subject to review.
“The fatalities recorded are very painful and we collectively convey once more our condolences to families, friends, and associates of those that have succumbed to the impact of the virus at various times,” he said.
The PTF chairman added “Today, we sympathise with the medical profession over the loss of one of its top professionals who have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.
“The demise of Professor Lawson of the Zankli Hospital Abuja as a result of COVID-19 underscores the risk faced by our medical workers who were hitherto our front liners but have now become our last line of defence.”
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