The Federal Government on Monday warned that states that are planning to reopen schools should drop the idea of doing so.
Mr. Boss Mustapha, Chairman of the Covid19 Presidential Task Force and Secretary to the Government of the Federation gave this warning on Monday during a press briefing in Abuja.
Mr. Mustapha expressed that it was not yet safe to reopen schools, stadiums, and viewing centers since they attract large gatherings and it will be risky.
Places in Kano State last week reopened football viewing centers and Cross River which has yet to record any case of Covid19 were planning to reopen schools.
In yesterday’s press briefing, Mr. Mustapha urged state governments to begin statewide mass Covid19 testing and also advised state governments to strictly enforce social distancing in their states.
He mentioned that they received a report stating that some states were trying to reopen viewing centers, stadiums, and schools which allows large gatherings. The PTF stressed that it still not safe to open public places to the public and states should adhere to PTF guidelines while considering taking such decisions to open schools, stadiums, and other places of public gatherings.
Mr. Boss Mustapha also noted that through their findings, they discovered that Nigerians were not fully observing social distancing, wearing face masks in public places, and care for personal hygiene such as the use of hand sanitizers in markets, motor parks and places of worship.
He noted that all the restrictions that have been relaxed are still subject to review and the advice given to the public was to ensure public safety. He also said people are violating the ban on interstate travels which is worrisome.
The SGF said the mass testing carried out across the country is the reason for the increase in Covid19 cases in Nigeria.
He said the fight against Covid19 has reached the level of individual and collective responsibility.
He stated that the fact that they relaxed restrictions on movement doesn’t mean that they are careless. He said it may seem they return to normal but not the normal of the past. He implored on Nigerians to take personal and collective responsibility to avoid the spread of the disease.
He stressed that the rise of Covid19 cases will continue to rise and the only way to curtail it is to observe PTF guidelines on safety.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire also expressed concern that the rise of Covid19 deaths is as a result of people not seeking treatment early.
He said that the Covid19 symptoms start mildly with fever, cough, and the loss in sense of smell but could overtime generate to shortness in breath.
The Minister said that they received reports from Lagos that those who received home treatment before coming to the hospital are the people that account for the majority of deaths and some that delay before coming to the hospital can barely make it to the doorstep of the hospital.
He also revealed that the Ministry had developed a 3-year plan on Covid19 as the virus would not end soon.
He stated that Covid19 will remain for a long time and we all will have to learn as we go with it. It is reported that the Ministry has developed a health response plan for the next three years which is divided into near, medium, and long term plans. He said the plan should be able to project into the future for at least three years and there is no denying that changes will be done along the way.