To curtail the alarming rate of community spread of Covid-19 in the country, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 has said that another national lockdown is looming.
In the wake of the outbreak of the disease, the Federal Government had imposed a lockdown in Lagos, Ogun State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for five weeks to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
The chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who dropped hints of a looming national lockdown yesterday during the briefing of the Task Force in Abuja, lamented that some Nigerians were already romancing with COVID-19 in the manner of Tom and Jerry.
Mustapha said: “You want to hear the truth? If it were within my powers, this is the time to lockdown. Lockdown might not be a popular thing but this is the time to lockdown because I can see the attitude of Tom and Jerry, we are already romancing with COVID-19 and it is not good.”
While stating that Nigerians must continue to take responsibility to reduce community transmission of the virus,
Mustapha urged the citizens to take the virus serious and continue to observe the guidelines developed by the task force. “I saw a real romance with COVID-19 today. People behaving as if the matter (virus) is over. It is a very serious issue and my appeal to Nigerians listening is that; let us take this thing (virus) serious.
“By now, with 500 plus fatalities, you can’t be ignorant, you can’t say you don’t know of anybody that has fallen victim either by way of name or pictures but today they are no more,” he added.
Mustapha explained the reasons why the compliance level of COVID-19 protocols is low in the country. He said that the non-compliance had been largely fuelled by skepticisms and ignorance about the disease.
All through the month, Mustapha noted that the PTF communicated to Nigerians in different ways, the dangers of complacency and non-compliance with measures prescribed for the fight against COVID-19.
Particularly, he stressed that Nigerians were reminded that there is at present no known vaccine for the virus and that all over the world, non-pharmaceutical measures still remained the most effective and to avoid being infected remains the best choice for everyone.
He stated: “The PTF also continued to assess the developments nationwide and found that non-compliance has been largely fuelled by skepticism and ignorance about the disease.
“We also noted that stigmatisation has further impacted on the willingness of people to come out to seek help and even tell their stories. “The nature of this pandemic demands that we must detect and treat it in order to address it.
Let me emphasise, therefore, that COVID-19 is not a condition to be ashamed of as it has no respect for status, nationality, race, creed, tribe, etc. Every person infected must be treated to prevent spread and avoidable fatalities,”
The SGF also expressed concern over the resurgence of the virus in Europe, China and the United States.
According to him, ”closely related to the high number of confirmed cases and fatalities at home are lessons drawn from other jurisdictions. From Europe to China to the United States of America, the rising numbers and reported resurgence in some cases should also be of concern to us.”
Source: Leadership Newspaper
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