Situation of COVID-19 in Nigeria continues to give the PTF serious concern – Boss Mustapha

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Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha has said  situation of COVID-19 in Nigeria continues to give the PTF serious concern especially as it relates to testing.
The SGF who spoke on Thursday in Abuja at the National Press Briefing by the task force said “In the week leading to Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary, we noticed the drop in the number of confirmed cases and a further reduction in the number of States reporting new confirmed cases, while the rest of the world continue to declare high numbers of cases and fatalities.”
 He added that “Brazil has indeed crossed 5million confirmed cases and recorded over 150,000 fatalities. Other countries like France, Israel, Italy, Britain, etc are reintroducing more restrictions and measures to curtail the spread of the pandemic in their countries. In order to ramp up testing, the full implementation of the national testing week will be confirmed shortly.”
Mr. Mustapha noted that ” On the African continent, 10,615 cases were reported from 36 countries leading to a cumulative total case count of 1,545,099 including 37,153 deaths. Globally, over the last few days, 5,909 deaths were reported from 102 countries and territories worldwide, with South America (Largely Brazil) accounting for 26% (1,510 deaths) of all deaths reported in the last 24 hours. Cumulatively, 1,060,002 COVID-19 deaths have been reported worldwide. The global CFR has gradually declined to 2.9%.”
He said “Although Nigeria is no longer in the top five countries by cumulative deaths in Africa, the PTF continues to urge Nigerians to change their attitude of scepticism and nonchalance to the virus. For the avoidance of doubts, the virus is real, ferocious and deadly. To date, Nigeria has recorded 59,738 confirmed cases and 1,113 fatalities.”
He stated that “The PTF is fully conscious, but not deceived, by the fact that our recovery rate is high and very encouraging. We still urge, however, that everyone should get tested because testing is the only way to detect, isolate, trace and treat. Media reports have suggested that many Nigerians do not trust the government and its agencies. We need to continue to build mutual trust between government and the governed if successes already recorded are to be sustained in the fight against COVID-19.”
He said The PTF and relevant agencies are working with the European Union on the issue of flights into Nigeria. As soon as negotiations are completed, Nigerians will be informed accordingly. For flights currently allowed into Nigeria, we are seeing a combined number of 4,500 arriving passengers per day into Lagos and Abuja.”
Read his full remarks below:
REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION/CHAIRMAN OF THE PTF-COVID-19 AT THE NATIONAL PRESS BRIEFING OF THURSDAY, 8TH OCTOBER, 2020
I welcome you all to the National Briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 for Thursday, 8th October, 2020. Since the last time the PTF briefed the nation on 29th September, we have celebrated the 60th Independence Anniversary of our dear country, Nigeria. The PTF therefore wishes all Nigerians happy diamond celebration and a prosperous and peaceful future.
2. The PTF has within the intervening period, welcomed the new Permanent Secretary (GSO), Dr. Maurice Nnamdi Mbaeri, into its fold. He will carry on from where his predecessor stopped largely as the Accounting Officer and the link between the Multi-Sectoral Response and the bureaucracy. I therefore take this opportunity to introduce to you the new Permanent Secretary (GSO).
3. The PTF could not brief the nation last Monday due to the 2-Day Executive-Legislative Retreat held at the instance of Mr. President to foster a good working relationship between the Executive and Legislative Arms of Government. The Retreat was however productive as we continue to work on a better relationship for the good of the nation. As you are all aware, the type of synergy built between the Executive and the Legislature has become a model for national development. We therefore thank the National Assembly for the support and collaboration so far achieved.
4. The situation of COVID-19 in Nigeria continues to give the PTF serious concern especially as it relates to testing. In the week leading to Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary, we noticed the drop in the number of confirmed cases and a further reduction in the number of States reporting new confirmed cases, while the rest of the world continue to declare high numbers of cases and fatalities.
5. Brazil has indeed crossed 5million confirmed cases and recorded over 150,000 fatalities. Other countries like France, Israel, Italy, Britain, etc are reintroducing more restrictions and measures to curtail the spread of the pandemic in their countries. In order to ramp up testing, the full implementation of the national testing week will be confirmed shortly.
6. On the African continent, 10,615 cases were reported from 36 countries leading to a cumulative total case count of 1,545,099 including 37,153 deaths. Globally, over the last few days, 5,909 deaths were reported from 102 countries and territories worldwide, with South America (Largely Brazil) accounting for 26% (1,510 deaths) of all deaths reported in the last 24 hours. Cumulatively, 1,060,002 COVID-19 deaths have been reported worldwide. The global CFR has gradually declined to 2.9%.
7. Although Nigeria is no longer in the top five countries by cumulative deaths in Africa, the PTF continues to urge Nigerians to change their attitude of scepticism and nonchalance to the virus. For the avoidance of doubts, the virus is real, ferocious and deadly. To date, Nigeria has recorded 59,738 confirmed cases and 1,113 fatalities.
8. The PTF is fully conscious, but not deceived, by the fact that our recovery rate is high and very encouraging. We still urge, however, that everyone should get tested because testing is the only way to detect, isolate, trace and treat. Media reports have suggested that many Nigerians do not trust the government and its agencies. We need to continue to build mutual trust between government and the governed if successes already recorded are to be sustained in the fight against COVID-19.
9. The PTF and relevant agencies are working with the European Union on the issue of flights into Nigeria. As soon as negotiations are completed, Nigerians will be informed accordingly. For flights currently allowed into Nigeria, we are seeing a combined number of 4,500 arriving passengers per day into Lagos and Abuja.
10. On a very sad note, we have received report of the untimely death of Mr. Uche Njoku, a laboratory expert with the NCDC, who was shot while on official trip by unknown gunmen. The PTF commiserate with his family and all frontline workers on this painful loss. We also wish the other workers in the vehicle that were injured a quick recovery. This incident underscores the danger that frontline workers face in the course of fighting this virus on our behalf. We urge all Nigerians to continue to pray for the safety of all frontline workers and their families.
11. Before I round up, let me remind all Nigerians that like our diamond anniversary celebration, the COVID-19 has made year 2020 a most significant year for us in Nigeria. We need to do all we can to survive it and we have the solutions in our hands. TOGETHER, let us take responsibility.
12. I now call on the Honourable Minister of Health, DG NCDC and the National Coordinator to provide us with updates.
13. I thank you all for your kind attention.
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