By Abujah Racheal
Abuja, Aug. 20, 2020 The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 says Nigeria’s infrastructure can undertake 15, 000 COVID-19 tests daily.
Mr Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said this in Abuja on Thursday at the daily briefing.
While calling on Nigerians to get tested frequently, Mustapha said: “So far, our National Response has shown that Nigeria is following the science through effective case management, but need to improve our testing.
“Our testing infrastructure has been increased to undertake up to 15,000 tests per day, but we are currently testing between 3,000 to 6,000 daily due mainly to people still not subjecting themselves for testing.
“I, therefore, want to seize this opportunity to Nigerians to get tested.
“The PTF continues to analyse and rely on data to forestall any sign of upsurge and adapting best global practices to sustain successes.
“That Nigeria, along with South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Algeria contributed to the recorded lowest weekly Coronavirus confirmed cases is a testament of our successes.
“The challenge, therefore, remains for us to improve on the path of driving the pandemic out of Nigeria so that we can go back to our normal lives,” he said.
The SGF said that 20 Iocal government areas were now hotspots for COVID-19 and called on youths in the country to join in the fight against the deadly virus.
According to the him, in the last two days, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued warnings on Vaccine Nationalism and that young people are aiding the spread of the virus.
“The latter is more germane for us as Nigerians with our over 80 per cent youthful population and should give us more cause to be on our guard.
” It will border on extreme selfishness for our youths to believe that since they are asymptomatic carriers, they can carry on with life as they please. More so, that being asymptomatic do not guarantee immunity forever.
“The PTF is, however, encouraged by the fact that majority of our youths are in the vanguard of this fight and still call on the few non-conforming ones to join.
“This call becomes more imperative when we realise that from an initial 10 hotspot Iocal government areas in the country, we moved to 16 and now have 20 of such, indicating spread to other areas.
“More worrisome is the fact that the initial hotspot areas were easily accessible to medical support. Albeit, the new ones are areas more removed from such support,” he said.
Mustapha said that the recent case of infection amongst some students sitting for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSSCE) calls for more vigilance by the education sector and all Nigerians.