COVID-19: PTF attributes surge in cases to Christmas

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID- 19hasattributed the recent surge in the number of reported cases of infectionof thecoronavirus disease to the celebration of Christmas across the country.

This came as the body warned that a second lockdown may be inevitable unless people complied with specified non-pharmaceutical protocols laid down by the government. The PTF also announced that 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Modena will arrive the country try by the end of this month.

The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, in his comments at a media briefing in Abuja yesterday, said the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Adamawa State threatened to lock up his house last December when 13 out of the 25 persons tested for coronavirus tested positive.

He said: “From our analysis, we are beginning to see the effect of activities carried out during the Christmas festivities. We can only hope that numbers will not escalate beyondcontrol. Wehowever, still appeal to all citizens to take full responsibility through compliance and vigilance.” Mustapha insisted that individuals must take responsibility to curb the spread of the disease as he disclosed that statistics showed Cumulative at 91,351; Cumulative Tests: 958,911; Deaths: 1,318 as at Monday. He continued: “Week 53 recorded 57 deaths which is the highest for any single week since we started; there is also a rising rate of infections among healthcare workers and this calls for the escalation of surveillance. In Africa, Nigeria has joined South Africa in reporting the highest daily infection cases.”

He reported that there are now about 100 laboratories across the country with 71 public labs; 22 private labs and 7 corporate labs. The SGF however lamented that there were still low testing in some number of states in the country just as he stressed that public health remains the primary concerns of the three tiers of government. He equally regretted the share of doubts about the disease in the country just as he called on the people to become advocates in support of the National Response. Mustapha further disclosed that, “In continuation of the NYSC engagement, the PTF has conducted the testing of batch B Corps using RDTs. Out of the 35,419 in the Batch B, 731 tested positive compared to 108 recorded during the Batch A. It is on record that cases were recorded from Corps Members from every state of the Federation.”

He added that the private sector (CACOVID) has commenced supporting government’s response with 100 oxygen cylinders per day till the end of March, 2021, for distribution to critical care centres in Abuja. Mustapha also disclosed that approval had been given to rehabilitate five oxygen plants across various tertiary health institutions in Abuja with the President approving that at least one oxygen plant be established in each state of the federation immediately.




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