From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
In view of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the bid to secure vaccines, President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 till March 2021.
According to him, the nation cannot afford to lose the gains of the past nine months in the fight against the pandemic.
Buhari, who said he has received eight interim reports along with one mid-term report, in the past nine months of the PTF work, apprising him progressively of developments on the COVID-19 pandemic, announced the extension, yesterday, in Abuja while receiving the end-of-year report of the task force.
He said he has extended the PTF mandate on COVID-19 till the end of March 2021 bearing in mind the new surge in the number of cases and the bid for vaccines.
“Recent reports reaching me indicate that Nigeria is now facing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide which is similar to the second wave of infections occurring in other countries across the world.
“New epicentres have been identified and the nation cannot afford to lose the gains of the last nine months. I have critically evaluated the situation and remain convinced that urgent measures have to be taken to halt the spread and the attendant fatalities.
“Closely associated with the foregoing is the need to speedily and strategically access and administer the COVID vaccine in a safe, effective and timely manner. This is an important obligation that we owe Nigerians as we go into 2021 and it must be carried out through an efficient machinery.
“The nation is clearly in a perilous situation given the virulent nature of this second wave and we must act decisively to protect our people.”