Measures to curtail COVID-19 may be relaxed in the coming days – PTF

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By Muhammed Saheed

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has said that the preventive measures put in place in an attempt to avert the spread of the raging pandemic might soon be relaxed.

Dr. Sani Aliyu, the National Coordinator of the PTF made the statement while briefing newsmen in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Aliyu expressed worries that Nigerians take the virus with levity, warning people that chances to contract the virus are drifting higher everyday.

According to him, “We may be relaxing some of the measures we took earlier on. But the relaxation does not mean that we are at a lower risk of catching the virus.

“If you do not need to go out, stay at home. That is still the best advice we can give. Let us not wait for the virus to reach disastrous proportion before we being to believe. We are already seeing this happen in many other countries. We must learn from their experiences to mitigate preventable fatalities.”

He said government was going to take the enforcement of the guidelines, especially the use of facemasks seriously in the next phase of response to the disease.

“At a meeting with some of the governors, we urged them to put in place local laws and edicts that will allow authorities to fine people who violate these guidelines”, Aliyu said.

He concluded by warning those who believe in the inexistence of the virus to start believing because the virus is real, urging them protect themselves against contracting it.

“The truth everyone must know is that COVID-19 is real. People are dying from COVID-19. There are people that are currently not with us at the moment because of COVID-19. Over nine million people have tested positive for the disease, At least 22, 000 of them are in Nigeria.

“We still do have states that have less than 300 beds which is the standard that we requested. But there are also states that, due to their high numbers, like Lagos, for instance; there is no way they can cater for all positive cases of COVID-19 infection, it is impossible.

“Overall, nationally, we know that our bed capacity is about 53 per cent. It varies. Some states have extra capacity while some don’t. Home isolation is really our last resort. We are also working with some of our partners to introduce the concept of community isolation, community support centres as part of hotspot strategy for intervention that are more precision based.”

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