The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Monday, noted that one in every five persons tested in Nigeria in the past one-week turned out positive.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation said South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Algeria, and Kenya now account for 76% of all cases in the African region.
He further stated that Nigeria occupies the third position in the highest cumulative caseload but remains 2nd for new cases and 5th highest in cumulative deaths in the WHO African region.
The SGF called on State Government to conduct more testing and maximise the capacities of the PCR Laboratories already established in their States.
Mustapha added that PTF has directed the NCDC to immediately implement the 450 tests per LGA plan, nationwide, immediately, beginning with States that are at the forefront of resourcing and infrastructure.
He noted that the task force will work with religious and traditional rulers. He called on the early to stay away from large gatherings by staying at home.
Mustapha while speaking on COVID-19 vaccines said, PTF will ensure that the vaccines to be approved will be safe and effective.
“We must however work together as foot soldiers in the vaccine advocacy so that we can eliminate the pandemic. The PTF wishes to emphasise that the success of our national response shall not depend on vaccines alone. Rather, compliance with the non-pharmaceutical protocols must remain top on our individual priorities.”
The SGF also said that the nation is making progress with Case Management under its National Response.
In his words, “The National Response continues to receive the support of the private sector in the delivery of medical oxygen to the various facilities.”
“At the same time, funds for the rehabilitation of existing oxygen facilities have been released to the various institutions. There is also a process in motion to ensure the construction of at least one oxygen facility in each state.”
“We are in a difficult situation in which a balance must continue to be struck between lives and livelihood.”
“We are considering all options while hoping that broad cooperation will be received. We must do everything possible to avoid the second lockdown in Nigeria,” Mr Mustapha stated.
The PTF boss said the task force is proceeding with the next phase of the approved Presidential sanction against all in-bound international travellers that failed to undergo the day-7 post-arrival test.
According to him, the PTF will publish the next list of 100 defaulters very soon.