The federal government has called for more vigilance on the possible resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic as some states announce schools resumption. The warning was given by the secretary to the government of the federation and chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said this on Monday, September 21 in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the taskforce. Mustapha noted that over the last one week, the scientific community have tried to explain some new manifestation of COVID-19 spread, but lamented that the nation continues to observe a reversal of gains in the battle mostly in countries around Europe.
He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also expressed some concerns due to the fact that weekly cases have now exceeded those reported in March 2020 when the pandemic peaked in Europe. According to him, Israel has re-introduced a three-week lockdown, the United Kingdom is considering another lock-down phase, Spain is enforcing a partial lockdown in Madrid, and France, amidst protests by its citizens apart from other stricter measures they introduced to contain the virus. He said similar stories are coming from South Korea, Iran and the number of fatalities is approaching 200,000 in the USA. Mustapha further said: “More specifically, the lesson for us in Nigeria, is that in spite of appreciable progress recorded, we should be vigilant more than ever before because we have opened our air spaces to international travels, we have relaxed a number of restrictions in opening up more sectors of the economy and schools are beginning to open in varying degrees.
“The call for greater vigilance is underscored by the fact that our economy has been seriously affected by the pandemic and we are pushing through our home-grown economic recovery strategies to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic. “Also, our health systems, in spite of its fragility, have been able to withstand and contain cases resulting from COVID-19 infection, where those of more advanced countries have been overwhelmed.” He warned that the call became more pertinent in view of the noticeably increasing disregard for basic non-pharmaceutical measures that have proven very successful. He lamented that face masks have now been turned into chin masks, social distancing and gatherings are returning to the pre-COVID era. Recall that a permanent representative to the United Nations, Mohamad Safa, recently disclosed that a six-year-old girl died of COVID-19 seven days after resuming school. According to Safa, the little girl contracted the virus when she resumed school and later died from the disease.