The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has said the rate coronavirus patients are absconding from isolation centres across the country is worrisome.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, who expressed concern on the development at Thursday’s daily briefing said non-compliance to guidelines by Nigerians is threatening efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
“These are unusual times and the seemingly calm atmosphere should not be construed as a return to normalcy. Non-compliance is manifesting in several ways and could be costly in the future. It is important to remember that this is a war in which every Nigerian is a combatant and must resist any effort by a few individuals or groups to endanger our collective survival.
“The PTF has become aware of a number of challenges associated with management of the isolation centres. These have manifested in the form of protests over welfare, abscondment from centres and loud complaints based on the assumption by persons under observation, that drugs must be administered.
“The first two are unhealthy developments capable of undermining the containment measures and putting the lives of care managers and frontline workers at risk. Similarly, persons in isolation are encouraged to follow the direction and instructions of experts during their stay as treatment to be administered would largely depend on the evaluation of the doctor. We, however, urge all state governments to continue to pay attention to the welfare of people in isolation and for security agencies to provide adequate security around such facilities to prevent escape,” Mustapha said.
“There is the increasing level of abuse of exemption granted to vehicles conveying specified goods. Reports across the country show that they continue to hide passengers with the intention of ferrying them across state boundaries and continual transportation of Almajiris across state borders is still evident.
“I have highlighted the foregoing as it relates to the road transportation sector to underscore the dangers inherent in the seeding of the virus across states. I, however, commend the security agencies for their vigilance in apprehending and prosecuting violators. It is worrisome, however, to note reports received about isolated cases of compromise by some security operatives. We urge the various commands of the security agencies to enhance their monitoring machinery to ensure that we do not only achieve the objective of stopping the spread of the virus but also prevent the good name of the services from being tarnished. We also implore all Nigerians to alert security agencies whenever they witness the violation of these guidelines,” he said.
Similarly , the national coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu, has warned that the Federal Government may be forced to review and change lockdown guidelines, if Nigerians continue to disobey guidelines.
“While we have allowed the relaxation of the lockdown, we are putting measures in place to curb COVID-19 spread. Our modelling shows that the positive effects of full compliance with the eased lockdown will be very similar to the effect of a full lockdown. This is why we need everyone to fully comply with all the guidelines issued. Please, respect and follow all the guidelines we have instituted. If we continue to see violations of these guidelines, we will be pushed to review and possibly change them” he said.