FG Raises the Alarm over Spread of COVID-19 in Protests’ Grounds

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Boss Mustapha

Warns against travelling to US, UK, France, others

By Olawale Ajimotokan

The federal government has raised the alarm that the EndSARS protests’ grounds nationwide would provide breeding grounds for the spread of COVID-19.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha stated this yesterday in Abuja at a press briefing addressed by the task force.

This is coming as the federal government has also called on Nigerians to take precautions while travelling or planning to receive travellers from the United States of America, United Kingdom, India, Russia and France.

The venues listed by the PTF as super spreader venues, include the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos, the Unity Fountain in Abuja and other protest venues across the country that have witnessed mass gathering of demonstrators.

Mustapha proposed that definitively in two weeks’ time, if all the persons that congregated at such hotspots are tested, the country will be contending with an increase in COVID-19 infections.

He warned that persons that attended the protest without putting up any form of protection for themselves and others are potential carriers and spreaders of the virus for their families and others.

‘’That is why we have to be extremely careful when we congregate. When you gather in that atmosphere where people do not bother about whether they have face masks on, you are creating a potential opportunity for carrier vectors that will convey this virus back to where ever. When they get back home innocently their families will be infected,’’ he explained.

He appealed to the EndSARS campaigners to harken to the government invitation for dialogue, saying the country cannot afford to lose momentum and risk a second wave of coronavirus that might overwhelm its health systems.

While considering the country of 250 million people to be lucky for recording fatalities only within the range of 1,106 deaths, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation warned that the curve should not be aggravated.

He noted that the country has less than 4,000 active cases, while 4,876 patients recovered and were discharged last week, which represented a 388 per cent increase when compared with 967 people discharged in the previous week.

He also put the total number of patients that have recovered and discharged after treatment at 56,611, representing 92 per cent of all cases since Nigeria recorded her index case in February.

Also, speaking at the PTF briefing, the National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu stated that corps members will not be allowed to interact outside their platoons when the NYSC orientation camps reopen across the country on November 10.

He said that if any corps member contracts coronavirus at orientation camp, it is all the members of his platoon that will be isolated rather than closing down the entire NYSC orientation camp.

He also called on Nigerians to take precautions while travelling or planning to receive travellers from the United States of America, United Kingdom, India, Russia and France.