President Muhammadu Buhari will next week announce some government decisions on COVID-19 fight as he is set to receive a report from the Presidential Task Force on the Novel Coronavirus.
The PTF is scheduled to submit its assessment of the success or otherwise of the national response efforts and recommendations.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and PTF Chairman, Mr Boss Mustapha, disclosed this on Thursday at the media briefing of the task force in Abuja.
“PTF would be approaching President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend to submit its assessment of the success or otherwise of the national response efforts, as well as giving him their recommendations and urged Nigerians to await the next step in the fight against the disease.
“I wish to inform you that by the end of this week, the PTF would be submitting a report containing our assessment and recommendations to Mr. President. We therefore urge Nigerian to await next steps.
“In furtherance of the collaboration with sub-national entities, the PTF joined the Nigerian Governors Forum in a virtual meeting yesterday to evaluate the progress made. The outcomes of the discussions will be factored into the decision under the next steps,’’ he said.
Mustapha attributed widespread lack of compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines and regulations to skepticism and ignorance about the virus.
He explained that increased testing capacity for the virus has led to the spikes in the number of COVID-19 positive cases, noting that the virus has continued to spread in the communities across the country.
On the problem of stigmatization, the Federal Government scribe said tracing and testing of cases had been hampered because of stigmatization as people are unwilling to come for help.
“The PTF also continued to assess the developments nationwide and found that non-compliance has been largely fueled by skepticism and ignorance about the disease.
“We also noted that stigmatization 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 emphasize, 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.
“You would have noticed that the number of confirmed cases and fatalities released in the last few days have been on the high side. While we attribute this to increased testing, it also goes to confirm the extent of the spread within our communities, especially the twenty-one (21) high burden LGAs identified as accounting for over 60 per cent of infections nationwide,” Mustapha said.
On the reported cases of some hospitals rejecting patients, Mustapha said the situation had resulted in deaths of patients suffering from other ailments.
He, however, pleaded with the hospital authorities to stop rejecting patients who approach them for treatment of ailments other than COVID-19 and advised them to follow protocols issued for containment of the disease.
“We continue to plead with these hospitals not to reject patients but to follow the protocols for managing COVID-19 while receiving them and most importantly, to seek necessary accreditation from the Ministry of Health and NCDC to manage COVID-19 cases.’’