The Presidential Task Force on COVID -19 on Monday lamented the increasing rate of COVID- 19 cases among people in government, saying it was directly impacting on governance and security in the country.
The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha , who stated this at the task force press briefing in Abuja , also said the possibility of ordering a fresh total lockdown to curtail further spread of the virus could not be ruled out.
The SGF , who advised prominent Nigerians to take COVID- 19 protocols seriously , said the virus does not respect status .
Mustapha ’s warning came amid rising cases of COVID- 19 among state governors and other prominent Nigerians. Recently state governors , including David Umahi of Ebonyi , Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and their Ondo State counterpart , Rotimi Akeredolu, contracted the virus .
Warning people in authority , the SGF said , “ Of recent, we have witnessed a high rate of positive cases especially among people in authority . This has a direct impact on governance and security of our nation. 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 sensitisation messaging. ”
We can ’t rule out fresh total lockdown – PTF
When asked if the task force would be considering a fresh lockdown in the face of what it observed as disregard for guidelines , Mustapha said events of coming weeks would determine the next line of action .
He said , “ We will not speculate on what will happen in future but we will protect the lives of Nigerians .
“ To achieve that , if it means to lock down again , we will not shy away from that responsibility. We will recommend to the President who will look at the report and take a decision on our recommendation. What happens in the next two three weeks will determine what we will do. ”
PTF meets security agencies
The SGF also said members of the task force met with heads of security agencies earlier on Monday .
He said the meeting centred on how to enforce compliance with guidelines among other issues.
The Minister of Health , Ehanire Osagie , said the ministry planned to boost overall COVID- 19 sample collection by preparing all eligible public and private hospitals nationwide to become collection sites .
He said a 17- man team of the ministry left Abuja for Calabar to engage with the Cross River State Government in setting up its COVID- 19 response and aligning it with the national response .
WASCE holds in August and September
The Minister of State for Education , Emeka Nwajiuba, said the West African Senior School Certificate Examination would take place between August 4 and September 5 , 2020.
He also said that the decontamination of the 19, 159 registered centres for this year’ s WASCE was not the sole responsibility of government as many of them were private schools.
The minister stated , “ As soon as we conclude WASCE, we will take up the NABTEB ( National Business and Technical Examinations Board ) and NECO ( National Examinations Council) exams. ”
Shedding more light on the meeting of the PTF with security chiefs, the National Coordinator of the PTF , Dr Sani Aliyu, said the task force sought their assistance in the enforcement of the use of face masks. ”