Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, has described as sad and unfortunate news of the COVID-19 positive status of Prof Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health.
According to him, the PTF is sad because the Commissioner has been at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19.
The SGF wished him and all other frontline workers that have risked their lives and have contracted the virus in the process, safe and speedy recovery.
‘This unexpected news is a grim reminder that the virus is no respecter of persons or the positions they hold. Everyone is at risk and we must take responsibility. What the announcement of Prof. Abayomi has shown is that stigmatization has no place in our national response and that COVID-19 is not a death sentence,’ Mr Mustapha said.
‘We, therefore, thank all those that have come out to announce their status and/or tell their stories and we urge Nigerians to take a queue to eliminate disbelief and scepticism.’
He also expressed concern over the biting effects of the COVID-19 that has seen 1002 citizens being killed by the virus.
The SGF recalled that Nigeria had crossed the 50,000 mark of confirmed cases, but that on Sunday, August 23, the country reached the unenviable record of 1,000 fatalities.
‘We wish to restate that these records are not just numbers as they vividly remind us of the dangers that we still face. May the souls of all those that have lost the battle against CVID-19 rest in peace.
‘The PTF has, however, continued to study the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) and we note that it has been on a steady decline over the last few months.
‘We are however convinced that our sample collection is still low. We, therefore, encourage States to ramp up their testing and to declare correct results because early detection will ultimately translate to treatment and ultimately levelling of the curve.
‘With our statistics standing at cases: 52,227, fatalities: 1,002 and recoveries: 38,945, however, Nigeria maintains the 4th highest cumulative cases in the continent,’ Mustapha added.
According to him, ‘sadly, the global cases have increased by another one million from 22.5 million on 19th to the current 23.5 million in about four days.’