The Presidential Task Force on coronavirus (COVID-19), has said in order to intensify the monitoring of the level of compliance with the advisories and guidelines already issued, the Security Agencies have been directed to ensure strict enforcement of the guidelines.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PTF on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said at Friday’s briefing that this decision was reached at the meeting with Security Chiefs, following the outcome the surveillance which still points to the fact that violations are still rampant, noting that it portends a very dangerous trend.
The SGF said the decision reached at the end of the meeting include: “to strengthen enforcement in collaboration with the States; All exempted persons including journalists and medical personnel should always carry a verifiable and authentic means of identification; Security agencies should improve monitoring of their personnel and interaction with the citizenry; Citizens should respect the sacrificial role of security agencies and desist from assaulting security personnel and damaging security infrastructure; Appropriate PPE and related protective gears will be provided for the security personnel; Security agencies should always respect the fundamental rights of citizens during enforcement; Enlightenment and awareness should be intensified; and If need be, revisit the strategies on the basis of spatial compliance.”
Mustapha reiterate that the measures taken are not punitive but meant to save lives and prevent the uncontrolled spread of the virus.
According to the SGF: “I must reiterate that the measures taken are not punitive. Rather, they are to save our lives and prevent the uncontrolled spread of the COVID -19 among our loved ones and within our communities. We recognize the existence of multi-faceted challenges and shall keep on emphasizing these in our daily briefings as well as through our information, education and communication media.
“The PTF urges the media and all key stakeholders to step up the roles we play in the sensitisation and awareness efforts.”
The PTF chairman restated that Nigeria is presently at the community transmission phase with the country witnessing the highest single day number of 381 confirmed cases on Thursday.
He also raised concerns that states across the country were already running out of bed spaces at treatment centres.
Mustapha said: “This could be considered worrisome but for the fact that this rise is associated with our increased testing capacity, which has provided an opportunity to detect hitherto hidden cases. However, this increased testing does not translate to higher fatality rates as in the last few days, we have witnessed a good number of discharges and a continually reducing daily fatality rate.
“We have also received Reports from the States, which suggests that the treatment centres are running out of bed spaces. As we assess the situation, the PTF shall also begin to examine our peculiar circumstances, modify the strategies for care management and consider viable alternatives, where necessary. At the appropriate time, the guidelines and protocols shall be unfolded.
“The PTF is liaising with the Task Force on Movement of Agricultural produce under the leadership of the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in order to ensure that food scarcity is not experienced in any part of the country. Another objective of this collaboration is also to minimize the abuse of the exemption granted for movement of goods under guidelines.”