The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 says Nigeria is yet to reach the peak of the pandemic.
As of Sunday night, the country had tested a total of 319,851 samples with 46,577 returning positive.
Speaking at the National Briefing of the PTF on Monday, Secretary to the Government of the Federation/Chairman of the task force, Boss Mustapha, warned that the low test/case confirmation numbers coming out daily should not be misinterpreted to mean that Nigeria has overcome.
According to him, more needs to be done to raise the quantum of test per million.
Mustapha noted that five states still account for 60% of cumulative cases.
The SGF stated that 689 out of 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) have reported a case while 85 LGAs in 20 States still remain with no testing done and no case reported.
He added that the PTF will also be looking closely at the issue of Risk Communication and Community Engagement.
“Messaging and consultations shall be intensified to drive the level of awareness and compliance to the wider population using mediums and platforms that are most effective generally and specifically,” the task force chairman said.
“Today, the global numbers of confirmed cases surpassed 20 million and 750,000 deaths. These statistics remain serious warning signals accompanied with pains and anguish to families and friends that have lost loved ones.
“Africa’s confirmed cases have surpassed one million mark which is a landmark. The challenge however is that the true numbers could be higher because we suspect strongly that for every reported case, up to seven might have been missed. Ladies and gentlemen, the numbers are surging, community spread has taken root and expanded beyond the urban areas. The watch word is vigilance and taking extra care.
“Nigeria, with 46,577 confirmed cases and 945 cumulative deaths, remains respectively the third and fourth highest in these parameters. 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. Our analysis has however shown that: (i) five (5) States still account for 60% of cumulative cases; (ii) 689 out of 774 LGAs have reported a case; (iii) 85 LGAs in 20 States still remain with no testing done and no case reported; and (iv) 50% of all cases are in 20% LGAs.
“The PTF is happy to note that many survivors are telling their stories and sharing them in the social media. The stories of those who doubted the existence of the virus and became unfortunately infected and are now expressing appreciation for timely intervention of the case management team provide compelling proof that the virus is real.
“I am also happy to note that the electronic media has taken up our challenge of joining the risk communication as depicted over the week-end with the face to face interview conducted by the Arise News team.
“It is also important I inform you that Nigeria continues to play its role in supporting the fight against COVID-19 on the West Africa Sub-Region. Last week, men and women of the Nigerian Airforce distributed PPEs and medical supplies donated by the West African Health Organisation and other partners to our neighbors.
“However, to show true leadership against the pandemic, we, as a people and country need to contain the virus by doing all we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the country at large.”