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THE Federal Government on Monday said a lack of responsibility by some Nigerians was a setback in the effort to halt the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said citizens must do their part.
It was during the PTF briefing. Mustapha said: “Our failure to take responsibility threatens the gains we have recorded, which is not good for our large population.
“Let me give you a vivid picture of how this virus has spread across our nation by timelines: April 16, 442 cases; May 16, 5,621 cases; June 16, 17, 148 cases. We really have a choice to make and it is urgent.”
According to him, the fact that Nigeria has been declared polio-free means the country can also flatten the COVID-19 curve.
“We use this opportunity to renew our call to the medical practitioners and hospitals not to neglect other diseases and ailments because of COVID-19,” he added.
Mustapha said the government had received the first batch of personal protective equipment and test kits from the One UN Basket Fund and the European Union (EU).
He praised the World Health Organisation (WHO) for donating oxygen concentrators.
The SGF urged Nigerians to undertake the COVID-19 test, emphasising that a positive result is not a death sentence, while delayed testing could result in symptoms worsening.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said no state is COVID-19 free.
Its Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said at the briefing: “No single state in Nigeria is COVID-19 free, not one.
“No country in the world is COVID-19 free. That is why prevention is very important; if you can’t prevent, then you must detect.”
According to him, about six states do not yet have a testing facility yet.
“We want to make sure we have testing capabilities in every state in Nigeria,” he said.
Ihekweazu decried the low level of compliance with safety and hygiene protocols, such as the use of facemasks and social distancing.
He praised Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki for leading the state’s positive response.
“We are really impressed by the work going on in Edo state. Of course, there still is a lot of improvement possible but I think they have gone a long way and we have to encourage them,” he said.
He also praised Lagos and Akwa Ibom states for their responses to the pandemic.