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COVID-19: We Have Not Tested Enough – PTF

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The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha has said that Nigeria’s COVID-19 curve is flattening.

Mustapha said this on Thursday in Abuja at the 66th joint national briefing of the task force. NAN reported the details of his statement.

He, noted though that the nation had not done enough COVID-19 testing.

The PTF was established by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 9, 2020, to coordinate and oversee Nigeria’s multi-sectoral inter-governmental efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“Looking back at our National Response, using science, data and experience from other countries, we cannot but say that tremendous progress has been made and that we are beginning to notice that the curve is flattening.”

“However, as we have always stated, this positive development shall be taken with vigilance and cautious optimism.”

“This is based on the fact that we are convinced that we have not tested enough, we have only recently reopened our international flights and that nations that had opened up their economies have done a re-think following the resurgence of cases in their countries,” he said.

Speaking further, Mustapha noted that the rising COVID-19 cases across the world, calling for caution as Nigeria opens her skies for international flights.

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“As we observe this landmark timeline, I wish to remind us that the world has hit 30,026,460 cases, Africa has cumulatively reached 1,380,223 cases, while Nigeria has also reached 56,604 cases.”

“Of particular note is the fact that India has crossed the five million-case mark and continues to report the highest daily caseload over the past six weeks.”

“These numbers are reminders that point to the need to gird our loins tightly in our national response and build stronger and more unified global collaborative efforts to overcome the virus.”

“Again, we reiterate the underlying objectives of the UN General Assembly resolution calling for global collaboration as the most veritable vehicle to fight the virus.”

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“The PTF is closely watching the developments at the airports and taking-in comments and observations sent by well-meaning Nigerians and passengers.”

“Most of the comments are around the protocols and requirements for departure, arrivals, testing in-country, self-isolation.”

He further appealed to JOHESU to call off the strike as the country needs them now, noting that “let me once again send a strong appeal to all health workers particularly, JOHESU members, that the nation can ill-afford any further disruption to its health systems.”

“The on-going strike has been very costly in terms of human lives but such losses can be avoided.”

“Government shall continue to do its best to push through the negotiations with the unions and hopefully, reason shall prevail.”

Also speaking on the difficulty trying to register on the portal for arriving passengers, the SGF said, “While the PTF regrets all inconveniences experienced by arriving passengers, I wish to state that the overriding public interest is a critical factor propelling the policies.”

“The issues with access to the portal, cost, pre-boarding validity timing and other factors remain work in progress and shall be reviewed as and when necessary”.

The PTF, he said, will remain open to all suggestions and comments.

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