‘COVID-19 Is Still Potent’, PTF Calls For Caution Amid Declining Cases
Barely 24 hours after Nigeria reported its lowest number of coronavirus cases in four months, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has warned Nigerians to remain vigilant.
PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, gave the caution on Monday at the briefing of the task force in Abuja.
He said, “For us in Nigeria, the last three weeks have shown a slowdown in the number of confirmed cases. Indeed, in the last four months of testing, the lowest daily figure of confirmed cases (138) was reported on August 30.
“The PTF still urges caution and vigilance on the declining numbers because the virus is still potent and very dangerous.”
According to the SGF, this position is informed by the fact that despite the nation’s enhanced testing capacity, the number of samples collected for testing have not been encouraging.
In line with efforts at intensifying Nigeria’s targeted testing strategy, he urged states to expand the scope of their sample collection.
Reopening Of Schools
Mustapha, however, noted that the last seven days have shown a consistently greater number of discharges than confirmed cases.
He also congratulated the Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Professor Akin Abayomi, and many other Nigerians who recovered from COVID-19 recently.
The PTF chairman said as authorities plan to re-open more sectors, it was important for the people to stick with the winning strategy anchored on the ability of the health institutions to contain the virus.
He urged Nigerians to wear their masks properly, stay away from crowded places, avoid mass gatherings, maintain simple hygienic practices, and as much as possible protect the elderly and most vulnerable to the virus.
Mustapha also cautioned authorities, especially those in the education sector against being in a hurry to reopen schools for students across the country.
He explained that while the PTF was not against the preparations for the reopening of schools in various states, the caution was necessary to prevent a situation where such decisions would be rescinded abruptly.
“Whilst the PTF does not discourage making such preparations, we need to be guided by experiences from countries such as Germany, France, the United States and the UK where the opening of schools in some cities led to an increase in confirmed cases and fatalities,” the SGF said.