The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 hinted on Thursday that government might soon relax some of the measures put in place to curtail the spread of the disease despite increasing risks of transmission.
The National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, said this at a briefing by the task force in Abuja, just as the chairman of the task force, Boss Mustapha, said 21 local governments in the country accounted for over 60 per cent of confirmed cases.
Decrying the attitude of many Nigerians who were jettisoning the guidelines released to curtail the spread of the virus, Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said he would have locked down the country again if it was within his power.
Aliyu, who expressed PTF’s worry that many Nigerians still did not believe that COVID-19 existed, warned that the risk of contracting the disease as of Thursday was higher than it was previously.
He said, “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 take the enforcement of the guidelines, especially the use of facemasks, seriously in the next phase of response to the disease.
He said, “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.”