By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19) pandemic has raised the alarm that the recently reopened worship places, as well as other crowded gatherings across the country have abandoned the use of facemasks and non-pharmaceutical interventions.
Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha, who raised the alarm during the task force’s weekly news briefing in Abuja yesterday, however, noted that it’s time for the country to increase its preparedness for a new wave of the pandemic.
He also lamented the observed dropping rates of testing in the country, saying Nigeria’s testing rate for the virus has not been encouraging comparatively.
Mustapha urged citizens to go for testing as the nation possesses the capacity for far larger testing. “The PTF urges Nigerians to take responsibility to keep our nation safe by adhering to all COVID-19 preventive measures. It is our collective responsibility. We must all rally round each other to stop this pandemic from destroying our lives and economy.
“The PTF believes strongly that now is the time to raise the tempo of not just our national response but also our preparedness for a new wave of the pandemic or any other epidemic for that matter.
“For example, it has been strongly observed that places of worship, gatherings and other events have dumped the use of face masks and adherence to other NPIs,” he said.
On the level of testing, he said Nigeria currently tests around 3,605 persons per one million, a situation which he said is far too low for a country of 200 million citizens, in comparison to the case in a smaller country like Mauritius, where around 218,535 persons per million get tested.