Mustapha warns Covid-19 is still on global rampage


BOSS Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, has declared that the pandemic which returned to different parts of the world in different tiers and level is now on a global rampage.

Mustapha, who stated this during Covid-19 national briefing held on Monday, January 11, in Abuja, said that reports coming in from all over the world showed that the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking huge havoc on humanity, economies and systems, with a sad record of 1,358 deaths in 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. And in the last 24 hours, 1,024 new confirmed cases were recorded in 17 states with 8 deaths: A case fatality rate which stands at 1.36 percent as at this last weekend.

Reports reaching him, he said, indicated that the world has been hit with a fresh 833,496 cases which represents the highest ever since the pandemic started, while global cases have now reached an all-time high of 90,676,320. And the Global fatality count is fast approaching the 2 million mark.

According to him, the global CFR has declined from 2.2 to 2.1 percent; the CFR for Africa has also declined from 2.3 to 2.2 percent, while the World Health Organization, WHO, noted that the region crossed 2 million case marks.

The chairman made it clear that Nigeria has crossed the 100,000 cases mark and now ranks second in the number of new cases, the 4th in cumulative cases in Africa and the 5th in cumulative deaths.

“Last week, Nigeria recorded over 9,000 cases. Realistically, if we estimate the numbers missed, we would be in a much higher region. There is no state in Nigeria that is immune to this pandemic even if reports are not coming out of such States.”

Expatiating on factors that may have caused this rapid growth in cases, the chairman said that, “factors that have contributed to rise in numbers from late November 2020 included increased local and international travels, business and religious activities, reopening of schools without strict compliance with COIVID-19 safety measures.”

He advised that we as a people should press further on the need for us all to elevate the level of our vigilance and compliance with the recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions. That the current wave of infections is swift and virulent and we do not know how long it will last. Besides, the facilities available for the treatment of critical cases remain very limited and we do not wish to be overwhelmed. Adding that our best bet therefore is to avoid infections completely.

The chairman also informed that the PTF has continued to receive inquiries about the issue of testing before travelling out of Nigeria. “For the avoidance of doubts, the Protocol in Nigeria requires in-bound passengers to test, not more than 96 hours, before boarding flights to Nigeria. However, for passengers leaving Nigeria, it remains the responsibility of travellers to confirm the requirements of the country of destination and that of the carrier of choice. The National Coordinator will clarify the extant protocol and the policy position.

He listed out some of the steps PTF is taking, to prevent a further explosion of the pandemic. Some of these steps are: All in-bound travellers should adhere to a new protocol on pre-boarding which has been released and compliance is still strongly recommended. The additional requirements for passengers coming from the United Kingdom and South Africa also remain in force; the hosting of a pilot exercise on the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test-Kits, RDTs, will be rolled out in 5 tertiary health institutions in Abuja; the isolation of different strains of the virus is being vigorously pursued.

In this regard, the PTF is working with the Africa CDC and the NCDC on the sequencing of the COVID strains circulating in Nigeria. “We shall keep Nigerians informed as the exercise progresses; to deepen community engagement and enforcement of protocols. The PTF met with the Nigerian Governors Forum last week and will be meeting with key religious and traditional leaders soon, and also with Security Agencies. With the third stream of NYSC members will resume on 18th January and the PTF is working closely with the management to ensure that participants are tested and protocols are complied with; and finally, the PTF has advanced the preparation for the management of all aspects of the vaccines discuss. Particularly, lessons are being drawn from other jurisdictions on the successes and challenges of the vaccine administration.”

– Jan. 12, 2020 @ 19:40 GMT |

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