COVID-19: Sallah holiday responsible for recent low numbers of confirmed cases in Nigeria- PTF

COVID-19 second wave: FG shuts bars, night clubs, event centres


The Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19 has said that the recent Sallah holiday across the country was responsible for the low numbers of confirmed cases of the COVID-19.

The PTF which met with President Muhamadu Buhari at the statehouse Abuja on Wednesday, briefed the president on its efforts so far in the fight against the pandemic.

Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha which led the task force team, presented its interim report to the President.

It would be recalled that the team had on Monday July 27 a9nnounced an extension of the current phase two eased lockdown by one week which elapses tomorrow, August 6.

Mustapha in his remark, attributed the low number of confirmed cases to the reduced number of testing due to the Sallah holiday.

In his words:

”If you noticed, as we celebrated those discharged there has also been a decrease in the testing. In the last couple of days, we tested just barely 2,000 across the nation, but we have a testing capacity of much more thousands than 2,000.

“Another reason is that everybody is still in Sallah mood, even the essential workers. Remember when I talked of fatigue, this is part of it. But I know that in the next couple of days, the testing will be rampant because people would have come out of the Sallah celebrations and come back to work.

“The sub nationals and local governments will begin to go into the communities to search because this is the point at which you have to go into the local communities and begin to search.

“If you don’t do that, so much is happening as a result of the community transmission that has been cascaded into the local communities that if you wait for it to present itself, it will present itself in a very explosive manner and we can get into a panic mode.

“We don’t want to have that. That is why we are encouraging the state governments to go into the local communities to ensure that they search for those infected with this virus, test them, if they are positive, isolate them and provide care for them.”

In a chat with newsmen, Mustapha also disclosed that new directives will be released on Thursday, August 6

“As for the content of the report, it will be premature for me to talk about it because we submitted a report, we have submitted recommendations and so we have to leave for Mr President to take a decision. By the time I receive his approvals, non-approvals on the recommendations we have made, we will be able to speak to the Nigerian people tomorrow (Thursday),” he said.

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