From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Boss Mustapha, has said the deaths of 24 patients in a single day was a wake-up call to Nigerians that COVID-19 is still around.
According to him, ‘there has been sustained efforts by sub-national entities and the FCT administration to stem the tide against the second wave of the pandemic.
‘This is evident in the closure of some facilities including event centres, clubs, etc, over the violation of protocols. We are glad with the direction of the collaboration and enforcement which we believe will deter other would-be violators.
‘For the avoidance of doubt, places of worship should only have 50 per cent of their capacity, indoor gatherings/meetings should not exceed 50 persons, at a time. Indoor Restaurants, Clubs and lounges should remain closed.
‘On the other hand, the recorded death of 24 COVID-19 patients in the country on Saturday, February 13, 2021, being the second highest in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic should serve as a wake-up call for the populace to brace up for more compliance.’
Speaking on the COVID-19 vaccines, Mustapha said: ‘The process for accessing vaccines for Nigeria is still on course under the coordination of the PTF in the same manner of the national response on COVID-19.
‘While the federal ministry of health and its relevant agencies remain the lead facilitators, our goal remains to keep it safe and efficacious.
‘The Oxygen strategy we are pursuing nationwide under case management is receiving the needed support from the global fund. This will involve the repairs of 36 plants nationwide. The process is ongoing and you will be briefed as it progresses. The objective is to make sure that oxygen is available within the shortest possible travelling distance for hospitals to procure for patients. As you are aware, the President has already approved the repairs of existing plants around the country.’
Mustapha noted February 27th will mark the one year anniversary that the country recorded its first index case.
According to him, in the last one year, Nigeria has experienced two waves of infections and recorded a lot of fatalities.
The SGF said ‘the PTF wishes to commiserate with families who have lost loved ones due to the virus and encourage all survivors to tell their stories. Although we are not out of the woods yet, it is very important to remain committed to the adherence to the NPIs and be our brother’s keepers.’
Mustapha also spoke on the dialogue between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and KLM (Netherland) over the testing requirements prescribed by some airlines.
He said that government also informed that outbound airlift of passengers by these airlines have been restricted pending when the protocols are ironed out.
‘The PTF wishes to underscore the fact that respect for national protocols, setting up of appropriate infrastructure and the all-round protection of our travelling nationals shall remain paramount in our consideration and the eventual outcome,’ he said.
Mustapha added that the Oxygen strategy government was pursuing nationwide under case management is receiving the needed support from the Global Fund and that this will involve the repairs of 36 plants nationwide.
‘The process is ongoing and you will be briefed as it progresses. The objective is to make sure that oxygen is available within the shortest possible travelling distance for hospitals to procure for patients. As you are aware, the President has already approved the repairs of existing plants around the country,’ he stated.
Mustapha also gave the national snap shot for COVID-19 from the NCDC as at Sunday to be 146,354 cases, 23,408 (16 percent) active cases, 121,193 (82.8 percent) discharged, 1,753 (1.2 percent) deaths; and 1,441,013 tests.