Nigeria Risks Another Lockdown Unless …FG

Joseph Bakare

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, on Monday, January 4, warned that a second lockdown may be inevitable to check the spread of the disease, as the number of COVID-19 cases increases across the country.

Dr Sani Aliyu, the National Coordinator of the COVID-19 Taskforce gave the warning at a press conference.

He warned that strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol would prevent another lockdown.

“If you don’t want a lockdown, the only way is to make sure we use our facemasks, avoid mass gatherings, avoid people who have respiratory tract infections, sanitise our hands and follow those non-pharmaceutical interventions.

“The very vaccines that we currently have are those non-pharmaceutical interventions.

“If numbers continue to go up, all options are on the table. There are countries in the world that have been able to control this pandemic simply by following these non-pharmaceutical interventions. They may be inconvenient, but they will not be as difficult as a lockdown”.

Lamenting the high increase of infections and casualties in recent weeks, Aliyu said it is getting more necessary to control the pandemic.

“We are talking holistically here. All I can say is that 33 people died of COVID-19 in the last one week. Are we saying those people died for nothing? We have just recorded 6,000 cases in one week, far more than we ever recorded.

“COVID-19 exists; anybody who says COVID-19 does not exist is probably living in a completely different world. In the last week, we’ve had a tripling of cases. You can see what’s happening in the United States, you can see what’s happening in the UK.

”I’m sure most of those who have been following the numbers will realise that what we have now far exceeds what we had in June/July last year.

“In week 52, which is the week we’ve just finished, we’ve seen a tripling in a weekly number of cases; compared to what we had three weeks ago. The 6,000 cases per week are really huge.

“Our hospitals are already starting to get overloaded; and we are already starting to feel the pressure within the healthcare system.

“So, talking about the projection, the projection really depends on whether people will start taking this very seriously; and start following those non-pharmaceutical interventions that we’ve been talking about for the last year.

“We’ve been able to demonstrate that it’s possible to flatten the curve; but we need the cooperation of everybody, we need the cooperation of the general public; we need the cooperation of the state governments”, he said.

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