COVID-19: Nigeria Risks Importing More Cases- Boss Mustapha 

Moses Ofodeme

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has warned that Nigeria may be at risk of importing more cases of the coronavirus following the reopening of its airspace.

The SGF, who also doubles as the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, cited the recent #EndSARS protests and the Edo and Ondo governorship elections as triggers too.

He bewailed the actions of some Nigerians who, upon arrival from abroad, failed to present themselves for the polymerase chain reaction test they signed up for.

One out of three passengers had shown up for the in-country test, Mustapha said during the panel’s briefing on Thursday.

He said as a result of non-compliance, passports of culpable individuals will be suspended for six months.

“The PTF at the last briefing cautioned on the need to avoid complacency on account of the low number of infections published daily and the possibility of a second wave,” he said.

“That advice was premised on the fact that risk perception remains very low and sample collection has been on the decline.

“The PTF is highlighting these issues repeatedly because we remain at risk of importation, having opened our airspace and massive spread as a result of the protests. The next week or two remain critical.

“The PTF similarly announced sanctions as a consequence of any infraction. Having observed serious non-compliance to the level of 65%, the need has arisen to activate the sanctions, including the suspension of the passports of such defaulting individuals for a period of six months minimum,” Mustapha said.

The Director of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu earlier warned of the possibility of a second wave of infections if Nigerians did not adhere to stipulated safety protocols.

“We know that as we move towards the reopening of schools, there will be increased opportunity for transmission because students will come together.

“We have to come together as a society. Nobody in this country wants another lockdown and we are hoping that we have learnt enough from the consequences of the first one to prevent the second one,” Ihekweazu said.

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