The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has again expressed “serious concern” over low testing of samples for COVID-19 in Nigeria.
In recent weeks, Nigeria has recorded a major drop in daily confirmed cases of the disease, a situation the PTF has attributed to low testing. Till date, the country has recorded 59,738 confirmed cases and 1,113 fatalities.
Speaking at the national briefing by the task force on Thursday, Secretary to the Government of the Federation/Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, said everyone should get tested because that is the only way to detect new cases and isolate them.
He noted that other countries have continued to confirm high numbers of cases and fatalities due to COVID-19.
Mustapha urged Nigerians to build trust with the government and its agencies if successes already recorded are to be sustained in the fight against the disease.
He disclosed that, in order to ramp up testing, the full implementation of the national testing week will be confirmed shortly.
“The situation of COVID-19 in Nigeria continues to give the PTF serious concern especially as it relates to testing,” the SGF said.
“In the week leading to Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary, we noticed the drop in the number of confirmed cases and a further reduction in the number of States reporting new confirmed cases, while the rest of the world continue to declare high numbers of cases and fatalities.
“Brazil has indeed crossed 5million confirmed cases and recorded over 150,000 fatalities. Other countries like France, Israel, Italy, Britain, etc are reintroducing more restrictions and measures to curtail the spread of the pandemic in their countries.
“In order to ramp up testing, the full implementation of the national testing week will be confirmed shortly.
“On the African continent, 10,615 cases were reported from 36 countries leading to a cumulative total case count of 1,545,099 including 37,153 deaths. Globally, over the last few days, 5,909 deaths were reported from 102 countries and territories worldwide, with South America (Largely Brazil) accounting for 26% (1,510 deaths) of all deaths reported in the last 24 hours. Cumulatively, 1,060,002 COVID-19 deaths have been reported worldwide. The global CFR has gradually declined to 2.9%.
“Although Nigeria is no longer in the top five countries by cumulative deaths in Africa, the PTF continues to urge Nigerians to change their attitude of scepticism and nonchalance to the virus.
“For the avoidance of doubts, the virus is real, ferocious and deadly. To date, Nigeria has recorded 59,738 confirmed cases and 1,113 fatalities.
“The PTF is fully conscious, but not deceived, by the fact that our recovery rate is high and very encouraging. We still urge, however, that everyone should get tested because testing is the only way to detect, isolate, trace and treat.
“Media reports have suggested that many Nigerians do not trust the government and its agencies. We need to continue to build mutual trust between government and the governed if successes already recorded are to be sustained in the fight against COVID-19.”