Apprehensive of imminent danger, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic has disclosed that 85 local government areas in 20 states have not conducted tests for the people till date and have yet to report any case.
The PTF said so far five states still account for 60 per cent of the cumulative cases while 689 out of the country’s 774 council areas have reported cases with 50 per cent of all cases in 20 per cent of the council areas.
The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, told a media briefing on Monday in Abuja that Nigeria with 46,577 confirmed cases and 945 cumulative deaths, remained respectively the third and fourth highest in these parameters.
Warning that Nigeria is yet to reach the peak of the pandemic, Mustapha said:“The low test/case confirmation numbers coming out daily should not be misinterpreted to mean that we have overcome. We have over time ramped up testing but more needs to be done to raise the quantum of test per million.’’
On general level of compliance, he said education and transportation sectors were being monitored.
Mustapha said: “Schools are gradually reopening with the commencement of preparations for critical examinations. Guidelines have already been issued by the Federal Ministry of Education to all stakeholders.
“For the transportation sector, the PTF continues to follow the developments in railway and air transportation respectively. Nigerians and sector stakeholders are admonished to ensure compliance with the various non-pharmaceutical measures already in place. The PTF and the Federal Ministry of Aviation are working rapidly towards reopening the international flights.
“The PTF will also be looking closely at the issue of Risk Communication and Community Engagement. Messaging and consultations shall be intensified to drive the level of awareness and compliance to the wider population using mediums and platforms that are most effective generally and specifically.”
Mustapha lauded many survivors of COVID-19 for telling their stories and sharing them in the social media.
“The stories of those who doubted the existence of the virus and became unfortunately infected and are now expressing appreciation for timely intervention of the case management team provide compelling proof that the virus is real,’’
On the leadership role of the country in Africa in the pandemic fight, the federal government scribe promised that Nigeria would continue to play its role in supporting the fight against COVID-19 on the West Africa sub-region.
Mustapha disclosed that the Nigerian Airforce had distributed Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and medical supplies donated by the West African Health Organisation and other partners to member states in the region.
“However, to show true leadership against the pandemic, we, as a people and country need to contain the virus by doing all we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the country at large.”