The Federal Government has stated that the COVID-19 death toll is on the decline in Nigeria.
Specifically, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has insisted that the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is on the decline in the last five months.
Nevertheless, it has harped on the need for caution among Nigerians.
Boss Mustapha, the PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); stated this during the daily briefing of the task force on Monday in Abuja.
The assertion comes even as Nigeria recently crossed the 1000-mark milestone for COVID-19 related deaths.
Mustaph said: “The PTF has however continued to study the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) and we note that it has been on steady decline over the last few months. On April 30; 3 per cent, May 31; 2.8 per cent, June 30; 2.3 per cent, July 31; 2.0 per cent and Aug. 22; 1.92 per cent.
“We are however convinced that our sample collection is still low. We therefore encourage states to ramp up their testing and to declare correct results because early detection will ultimately translate to treatment and ultimately level the curve.
“With our statistics standing at 52,227 cases and 1,002 fatalities and 38,945 recoveries; Nigeria, however, maintains the 4th highest cumulative cases in Africa. Sadly, global cases have increased by another 1million from 22.5 million on 19th to the current 23.5 million; in about four days.”
While expressing concerns over the recent trends and the planned reopening of international flights; the PTF chairman stated that the government will devise measures to ensure minimal spread.
“We shall intensify the validation process for the Polymerase Chain Reaction tests to minimise risks.”
Further, he noted that over the last weekend, 252 additional Nigerians were evacuated from the United Arab Emirates. This brings the total number of Nigerians returned home to 4,984.
On the need for maximum care in handling COVID-19, the SGF noted that; “the World Health Organisation (WHO) had provided guidance on the use of face-mask for children 11 years and above; in the context of COVID-19 as it relates to the community. However, children with immune compromised conditions are advised to wear mask, irrespective of age.
“This guidance is strongly recommended for observance…The PTF shall give further update as it is revised by the WHO.”
Reacting to the unfortunate news of the positive status of Prof. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health; the SGF said this had saddened the PTF as the commissioner has been foremost in the fight against COVID-19.
“We wish him and all other frontline workers that risked their lives but contracted the virus in the process, safe and speedy recovery.
“This unexpected news is a grim reminder that the virus is no respecter of persons or the positions they hold. Everyone is at risk and we must take responsibility.
“What the announcement of Prof. Abayomi has shown is that stigmatisation has no place in our national response; and that COVID-19 is not a death sentence. We therefore thank all those that have come out to announce their status and/or tell their stories and we urge Nigerians to take a queue to eliminate disbelief and skepticism.”