- Blames govs for crowds at Kashamu burial, Edo rallies
Olawale Ajimotokan and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The federal government has said that its analysis of COVID-19 cases has indicated that five states accounted for 60 per cent of the country’s cases.
The states are: Lagos, the FCT, Oyo, Edo and Rivers.
The federal government has also blamed the state governors and other leaders for the violation of the safety protocols during campaigns by the political parties in Edo State and the recent burial of Senator Buruji Kashamu in Ogun State.
The government has also disclosed that the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) will ensure the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols in the transport services sector.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja when the task force addressed the media.
He also said that 689 local government areas out of the 774 LGAs in the country have reported the spread of the virus, adding that no cases of the virus had been reported in 85 LGs in 20 states, where no testing had also been done.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), noted further that 50 per cent of all national COVID-19 cases were now concentrated in 20 per cent of LGAs.
“As we emphasised at the last briefing, Nigeria is yet to reach the peak of the pandemic. Therefore, the low test/ case confirmation numbers coming out daily should not be misinterpreted to mean that we have overcome. We have over time ramped up testing but more needs to be done to raise the quantum of test per million,’’ Mustapha said.
He added that in the new phase of the National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which ends on September 5, the federal government will be particularly focusing on to ensure general level of compliance are the education and transportation sectors.
‘’ The PTF and the Federal Ministry of Aviation are working rapidly towards reopening of the international flights,’’ he said.
Also speaking at the briefing, the COVID -19 National Coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu said that the PTF will be liaising with the FRSC to ensure the enforcement of all transport services non-pharmaceutical interventions.
Reacting to the issue of the large crowds at the Edo governorship campaigns and at Kashamu’s burial, where the COVID-19 protocols were breached, Aliyu said the leaders in the two states failed to ensure compliance with protocols.
Aliyu also stated, “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.
“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.”
Aliyu also assured that PTF was working with the aviation authorities to ensure the reopening of the airports for international flights as soon as possible.
He also stressed that the bulk of the World Bank $104 million credit facility to Nigeria will be used by the states in support of their COVID- 19 programmes, operation costs as well as ensure they have rapid response teams and the necessary facility for sample collections.
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, also assured that all the educational centres for exiting students in the 36 states of the federation have been decontaminated while 40,000 officials are to provide assistance and look out for the symptoms of the disease when students return to schools.