The Federal Government has raised the alarm that despite the virulent nature of the Coronavirus pandemic, many Nigerians still doubt the existence or effects of the virus advising that wearing of face mask and adhering to other safety measures are better than being on a ventilator.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the taskforce.
This is as he said that the government is reviewing its strategy to emerging situations, on the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in risk communication, vaccine hesitancy, and fake news/disinformation.
“The share level of doubts about the virus is alarming and I call on every one to become advocates in support of the National Response,” Mustapha said.
He said that to overcome some of these challenges, the PTF will intensify the risk communication and community engagement to create awareness.
He said: “The PTF is working to develop new Health Protection Regulations to support existing COVID-19 protocols and to strengthen compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions across the country.
“We call on the general public to remain focused on the drive to reduce the level of infection and make our Country safe again. We urge the sub-nationals to enforce relevant measures that will help to curb the effect of this virus on our lives and livelihood.”
‘Some Nigerians still present fake COVID-19 results’
He also said that some Nigerians continue to present fake results when travelling outside the country and that this remains a major source of concern to the government.
“It has become embarrassing to note that some Nigerians continue to present fake results when travelling outside the shores of this country. This remains a major source of concern to the Federal Government. The PTF has directed private laboratories to immediately put in place measures to validate results and ensure that all passengers are registered on the travel portal before samples are processed to stop this activity,” Mustapha said.
The SGF also said that the PTF is very concerned about the increasing daily numbers being recorded in the country.
According to him, as at Wednesday, Nigeria recorded 1,664 infections, which he said was another all-time high in Nigeria and urged all Nigerians to take full responsibility through compliance and vigilance.
“It is better to wear a face mask than being on a ventilator. We have consistently appealed to all Nigerians to stay safe and act in most defensive and protective ways by complying with the NPIs already prescribed. We urge you all, at this point, to raise and be our brother’s keeper by taking the expected responsibility. Remind your neighbour to do the right thing in view of the imminent danger facing us as a country and the world in general.
“Our records show that our test per million (TPM) is at 4,695 while our test positivity rate (TPR) is at 9.6 percent and our Case Fatality Rate (CFR) has increased to three percent haven recorded 1,324 deaths, these data are not encouraging,” the SGF said.
He also said that Nigeria just crossed the one million mark for testing across the federation, saying that testing remains a key strategy of the National Response.
He therefore urged the states to revamp testing and contact tracing in the bid to curb the menace of the virus.
“It is only through testing that we can know our status and treat early if infected. This will provide among other things, evidence for effective feedback, course correction, experience learning and sharing, as well as optimize documentation systems for future reference.
“As the Government is working round the clock to secure safe and right vaccines for the Country, we call on the Media, Traditional and Religious as well as our community leaders to pass the right message to their followers so that together, we can win this war against this virus.