Following the recent resurgence in the coronavirus infections, resulting in a second wave of the deadly virus, the Presidential Task Force ( PTF ) on COVID-19 has advised Nigerians in Diaspora, planning on coming home for the Christmas festivities, to put their plans on hold.
This is a strategy of the PTF to cut down on travelers coming from different parts of the world, especially countries battling with new waves of COVID-19.
Dr. Sani Aliyu, the Task Force’s National Coordinator, disclosed this during a press briefing in Abuja, clarifying that if the reason for coming home is essential, such traveler should be ready to observe all guidelines put in place by the PTF. This includes pre-travel and post-travel testing as well as undergoing a seven-day self-isolation.
In his statement, the National Coordinator warned that Nigeria would not take chances or relax its COVID-19 guidelines, not even in the period of festivities, stressing that the country cannot afford to get swamped by another wave of COVID-19 as is the current case in America and other European countries:
‘We know that we are going into the Christmas period. The PTF is already looking at steps to minimise the surge in passengers’ numbers we see during this period.’
‘But this will primarily be by discouraging people from non-essential travels. If you do not need to travel, remain in the country during the period.’
He further stated that, ‘If you are outside the country, now is not the time to start coming in on holiday. If you do have to come into the country on holiday, be aware that you have to do the mandatory seven days’ isolation before you show yourself anywhere within the country and you have to be tested and confirmed to be negative to exit self-isolation.’
Recalling the test carried out on over 5,000 passengers who arrived into the country after international flights reopened, it was revealed that about 105 of them tested positive for the virus. And in respect to this, the PTF warned about the risks involved in non-essential international travels in this period of festivities.
Dr. Sani also made reference to a private partnership sector that has been up and doing in the area of donating resources to the government in a bid to fight the pandemic in the country, stating that the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) donation had attained 95 percent before the disruptive activities that ensued from the #EndSARS protest.
The PTF National Coordinator in his words said, the private partnership sector, ‘has kept careful and transparent records of the theories distribution process.’
In adherence to the Covid-19 protocols, the PTF also disclosed that 12,500 out of the 66,000 corps members for the 2020 Batch B mobilization had been tested for the disease as much work is still in progress.
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