The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has expressed concern over the violation of social distancing guidelines at campaign rallies in Edo State as well as the burial ceremony of ex-Ogun senator, Late Buruji Kashamu.
The PTF blamed governors of the respective states where the guidelines were flouted for failing to ensure strict compliance to protocols issued to prevent the spread of the pandemic..
Dr. Sani Aliyu, the National Coordinator of the PTF, stated this at the media briefing in Abuja on Monday.
“I must say that we are dismayed with the level of compliance, when it comes to some of these activities,” Aliyu stated.
“The issue is; we know that COVID-19 does not act like a proper pandemic. If you have a proper pandemic like Ebola, as I have always said, you will have dead bodies on the streets, people bleeding to death; that sharp factor is there and we do not need to do anything further to convince people to protect themselves and to do the right thing.
“We are faced with a pandemic that is an invisible enemy; we are faced with a pandemic where the majority of us would probably not have come across somebody with COVID-19.”
The National Coordinator called on state governors to ensure the enforcement of all safety guidelines to help prevent the spread of the pandemic.
“When it comes to wearing of (face) mask for instance; when you wear a mask, it is actually an act of kindness and caring. What you are saying is that you care about the people that you will meet; you don’t want to infect them with COVID-19,” he said.
“The same thing applies when it comes to social distancing. It is much easier to be proactive. It is much easier for civil authorities, leaders and governors to make sure that those situations that pose a risk of mass gathering are avoided.”
He remarked that Nigerians were lucky that it had not recorded huge deaths unlike other countries.
He added, “Nevertheless, a lot of people have died – close to a thousand Nigerians have died – that would have still been with us today if not for COVID-19.
“We certainly have to continue to engage Nigerians, enlighten them and encourage them to take those simple steps that are necessary to protect ourselves and our loved ones”, adding that the PTF would continue to urge the states to step up their enforcement of safety protocols and guidelines, especially those who had established mobile courts to try offenders.”
So far, 46,867 cases have been confirmed in Nigeria, with recoveries at 33,346 and fatalities at 950 as last updated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).