A warning has been issued by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, that a majority of Nigerians are still at risk of contracting the virus.
This was made known by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PTF Mr Boss Mustapha, who gave the warning on Monday during the daily media briefing by the task force in Abuja.
He, however, charged all citizens to play their role in ensuring that the disease did not transmit easily by observing the guidelines and advisories so far provided to prevent transmission, noting that failure to prevent wide transmission would be deadly for the population.
He said, “The PTF wishes to emphasize that a great majority of Nigerians are still susceptible to COVID-19, and if we allow it to transmit easily between us, it may be even more deadly. If everyone diligently observes the guidelines, we can collectively control the spread of the virus, and help to protect our health facilities as well as save lives”.
With regards to the reopening of worship centres across states over the last weekend, the SGF pointed out the need for religious leaders to strictly adhere to the guidelines issued by the PTF and the various modifications introduced by states, by guiding worshippers in their folds to take responsibility.
He said “over the last weekend, the ease of restriction on places of worship came into focus and that it is important to note that the guidelines gave states the latitude and the opportunity to negotiate protocols that meet their peculiarities. We, therefore, urge our religious leaders and the entire populace to adhere to the guidelines issued by the PTF and the protocols agreed by the State Governments. The PTF continues to monitor compliance nationwide”.
He also noted that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the weaknesses inherent in the nation’s health care systems and the need for urgent attention.
He said, “Within our national setting, the weaknesses inherent in our national health care systems were made glaring and needed urgent attention. Government determined immediately, to take on the lessons and to ensure that the healthcare system experienced tremendous leap in human and infrastructure development as well as policy focus, stability and direction.”
The SGF also said the PTF had commenced the process of introducing mental health services to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, noting that enough priority attention had all along been devoted to the management of the health of victims and their families.
He said, “I am pleased to inform you that PTF has commenced the process of integrating comprehensive psychological services program into its activities. This will be for the benefit of people who are in isolation, wellbeing of their families and communities. In this regard, we wish to recognize the Federal Medical Center, Jabi, FCT for spearheading this drive, which shall inevitably assume a national dimension because of the importance of mental health”.
Reported by: Fatimah Oyesanmi