The Secretary to the Federal Government and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, disclosed yesterday that the PTF will not shy away from the possibility of another lockdown, adding that the PTF will recommend it to the President who will make the final decisions.
While speaking during the national daily briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday, Mustapha warned that the deadly virus is still spreading at an alarming rate.
“Therefore, we cannot afford to slow down and we must never compromise. Let us continue to learn from the history of pandemics by avoiding the mistakes of 1918.
“What happened in 1918 was very simple. During the Spanish Flu, it lasted for 2 years and in three waves, and during that period of time, 500 million people were infected, out of which they recorded fatalities of about 50 million persons. But the dangerous phase of the flu was the second phase,” Boss Mustapha said.
He added that the Spanish Flu lasted for 2 years of 1918 came in 3 waves, but the phase the most casualties were recorded was in the second phase. Adding that the impatience of people forced governments to lift lockdowns, and by the time the second wave arrived, millions died.
He acknowledged that the possibility of lockdown would not be popular with Nigerians, however, “but what will happen in the preceding weeks will determine”, citing rising cases in the United States after the holiday weekend and a the newly imposed lockdown in Madagascar despite developing its “herbal cure”.
“I believe as the days and weeks ahead will present, we will not speculate what will happen in the future but we will do everything within our mandate to ensure the safety and protection of the people of Nigeria. If that will recommend a prescription of a lockdown, this task force will not shy away from its responsibilities.”
He added that the recommendations of lockdown would be passed to President Buhari who will decide in the next 2 weeks.
“The PTF urged Nigerians to be vigilant, citing global developments in coronavirus in the past week from China to the United States.
“We urge that vigilance and care should be exhibited by all Nigerians irrespective of status. This virus does not discriminate and the PTF shall keep sustaining its sensitization messaging,” Mustapha stated.