President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 till the end of March 2021 due to a surge in the number of cases as a result of the outbreak of the second wave of the pandemic.
The extension is also on account of the need to coordinate access to and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine in Nigeria in the new year.
The disclosure was made by the president on Tuesday in Abuja while receiving the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19’s End-of-Year Report from members of the task force led by its Chairman, Boss Mustapha.
What the president said
Buhari said, “Recent reports reaching me indicate that Nigeria is now facing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide which is similar to the second wave of infections occurring in other countries across the world. New epicentres have been identified and the nation cannot afford to lose the gains of the last nine months.
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” I have critically evaluated the situation and remain convinced that urgent measures have to be taken to halt the spread and the attendant fatalities. Closely associated with the foregoing is the need to speedily and strategically access and administer the COVID vaccine in a safe, effective and timely manner.
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” This is an important obligation that we owe Nigerians as we go into the year 2021 and it must be carried out through an efficient machinery. The nation is clearly in a perilous situation given the virulent nature of this second wave and we must act decisively to protect our people.’’
I, therefore, urged all sub-national entities, traditional rulers, religious and leaders of thought to collaborate with the PTF by taking up the responsibility for risk communication and community engagement at all levels. Now is the time for collective efforts to be intensified.’
The president advised that Nigerians should continue to stay safe and abide by all the protective guidelines issued by relevant authorities, during this festive season and beyond.’
What you should know
- Following the outbreak of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Government announced the reintroduction of restrictions across the country and emphasized strict adherence to protocols as prescribed by NCDC.
- FG advised state governments and the FCT to shut down bars, night clubs, event centres and others with some restrictions on formal and informal events.
- The President also authorized the PTF to engage with the states and the Federal Capital Territory to assume full ownership of this stage of the response by deploying legal structures and resources, including enforcement to manage the pandemic within their jurisdictions.
Let us all continue to stay safe and abide by all the protective guidelines issued by the relevant authorities, during this festive season and beyond. May the Almighty God grant all those who have lost their lives to this deadly virus eternal rest. pic.twitter.com/oAXbs8UxMI
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) December 22, 2020