COVID-19: PTF raises alarm over reopening of schools
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 says the re-opening of schools, businesses and religious centres without compliance with safety measures is responsible for increasing number of infections.
Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, disclosed this on Monday during a media briefing in Abuja.
He also identified re-opening of airports and increased local and international travels as another source of spread of the second wave of the disease.
Noting the intensity of the new wave of infection is unlike the earlier one as it is swifter and deadlier, Mustapha warned Nigerians to be more vigilant as the capacity to respond to the speed of the spread might not be sufficient.
He stated the best chance for every individual would be to ensure to avoid being infected.
“It is however very instructive to stress that factors that have contributed to rise in numbers from late November 2020 included increased local and international travels, business and religious activities, reopening of schools without strict compliance with COIVID-19 safety measures.
“The full import of the fore-going is to press further on the need for us all to elevate the level of our vigilance and compliance with the recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions.”
On vaccine acquisition and management, the SGF said the PTF had made progress, noting also great lessons had been learnt from countries and regions where earlier head start had been made.
“PTF has advanced the preparation for the management of all aspects of the vaccines discuss. Particularly, lessons are being drawn from other jurisdictions on the successes and challenges of the vaccine administration,” he said.
Speaking on efforts to understand the COVID-19 strain circulating in the country, Mustapha said the PTF had commenced works with the African Centre for Disease Control (ACDC) and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on the sequencing of the disease.
On international travel protocols, he said the PTF had continued to receive inquiries about testing before travelling out of the country, explaining the protocol in Nigeria requires in-bound passengers to test, not more than 96 hours, before boarding flights to Nigeria.
“However, for passengers leaving Nigeria, it remains the responsibility of travelers to confirm the requirements of the country of destination and that of the carrier of choice.
“The additional requirements for passengers coming from the United Kingdom and South Africa also remain in force,” he said.