The Presidential Task Force PTF on COVID-19 has urged all employers, employees and leaders of sectors allowed to re-open to diligently comply with non-pharmaceutical measures prescribed in the guidelines and the protocols agreed by State governments as COVID-19 is still virulent, dangerous and infectious.
The Chairman of PTF on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha made this known at the Press Briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja on Tuesday, he said PTF is conscious of the fact there is a high possibility of members of the public seeing the easing as a signal that COVID is gone.
According to him, “On the contrary, COVID-19 is still virulent, dangerous and infectious. Our lives have changed for good and will never revert to what we used to know. As we have always maintained, the fight against this pandemic is not a joke and because the science, data and experiences that drive our National Response are constantly evolving, we urge all citizens to religiously implement applicable guidelines at specific phases of the battle”.
He stressed that the PTF shall continue to monitor the progress and keep the option of a review open should the need arise. “I therefore urge all sub-national entities with which we have been collaborating to expeditiously factor the guidelines into their decisions and resultant protocols that would be agreed to.
“I further urge them to strengthen their enforcement and monitoring mechanisms so as to ensure that the desired results are achieved. As the PTF focuses on community engagement and risk communication, I wish to re-emphasize that State Governments now have the responsibility to shape and drive the process. It must also be understood that every individual has a stake and a role to play. We must take responsibility.
“We must be accountable to self and community on our actions. We must adhere to the guidelines issued. Shortly after the briefing of 1st June, 2020 (yesterday), the social media was trending with the photograph of two children wearing discarded PPEs (although it is not certain if the photograph was taken in Nigeria). Significantly, that photograph represents a dangerous development”, he said.
He underscored the need for more risk communication, community engagement and diligence in the disposal of used PPEs on the part of the frontline workers and the administrators. “It also underscores the need to broaden the theme and messages in our communication strategy.
“Above all, the photograph has left us to imagine what the impact would be, if schools were to be open and they attended school after being exposed so dangerously. Those three children represent a clear danger to themselves, family and the immediate community.While we take remedial measures to reach out to medical institutions on this, I use this opportunity to call on all our health authorities to make sure that waste disposal is done in such a way that would not create opportunities for increasing the chances of spreading the virus”, he said.