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PTF bemoans neglect of COVID-19 protocols

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PTF said face masks have now been turned into chin masks while social distancing and gatherings are returning to the pre-COVID era.

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday warned on the neglect of the non-pharmaceutical protocols and other measures aimed at tackling the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, gave the warning at the daily briefing by the PTF in Abuja.

He said that there were increasing disregard for basic non-pharmaceutical measures that had proven to be very successful in the country.

He said face masks have now been turned into chin masks while social distancing and gatherings are returning to the pre-COVID era.

Mustapha, however, called for vigilance in order to prevent a second wave of the pandemic currently experienced across Europe.

He said: “Our health systems despite its fragility have been able to withstand and contain cases resulting from COVID-19 infection, where those of more advanced countries have been overwhelmed.

“This call is made more pertinent in view of the noticeably increasing disregard for basic non-pharmaceutical measures that have proven very successful.

“Face masks have now been turned into chin masks, social distancing and gatherings are returning to the pre-COVID era.”

On the second wave of the pandemic across the world, the PTF chairman added: “Israel has re-introduced a three-week lockdown, the United Kingdom was considering another lockdown phase, Spain was enforcing a partial lockdown in Madrid and France – amidst protests by its citizens.

“They have also introduced stricter measures to contain the virus. Similar stories are coming from South Korea, Iran and the number of fatalities is approaching 200,000 in the United States.

“The World Health Organisation(WHO) has advised that everybody should learn from lessons of the first wave, especially as ‘no one is safe until everyone is safe’.

“Let me share with you a global picture to buttress the foregoing. Over the last three days, the global cases passed the 31 million mark and it took only four days to get there from the 30th million.

“The US crossed seven million cases and continues to report a high daily caseload of over 30, 000 daily. We continue to see the highest daily numbers from India.

“More specifically, the lesson for us in Nigeria, is that in spite of appreciable progress recorded, we should be vigilant more than ever before, because we have opened our air spaces to international travels, we have relaxed a number of restrictions in opening up more sectors of the economy and schools are beginning to open in varying degrees.”

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