New Telegraph

PTF links COVID-19 fatalities to denial, delay in seeking help

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has said that fatalities keep rising in the country because of denial and delay in seeking medical help by infected persons.


The panel, chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, at a media briefing yesterday also disclosed that aside droplets, the Coronavirus disease could also be transmitted airborne in an enclosure or in poorly ventilated spaces.


The committee also ordered the suspension of unnecessary travels by government officials and recommended virtual meetings for public and private officials with participants exceeding four members, just as it counselled persons above 60 years of age to stay indoors where necessary and avoid large gatherings.


Mustapha said: “An enhanced risk communication strategy becomes inevitable when we realise that within the last 24 hours, the world witnessed the largest single day cases of 230,370 while in Nigeria, the last week recorded the highest weekly fatality of 70 deaths.


The rising fatalities in Nigeria are not unconnected with denial and delay in seeking help.”


The PTF boss also disclosed that it resolved to take certain course of actions at its mid-term review of the national response strategy at the weekend in Abuja.


Among others, the committee resolved to communicate “that anyone above 60 years or persons with morbidities (such as hypertension, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cancers etc.) should stay at home and avoid social events as they are at highest risk of  infection and mortality.


“Government/Board meetings should be conducted virtually until further notice. All unnecessary travels for meetings by government official suspended till further notice.


“All government offices shall continue to hold virtual meetings in their offices, especially where participants exceed four persons and suspend all unnecessary travels for meetings.


“For corporate organisations, Board members, etc., the reopening of the domestic flights should not be misconstrued.


The PTF strongly encourages virtual meetings as well; we still urge places of worship to cautiously follow the guidelines on public gatherings; and we urge members of the political class to exercise utmost circumspection in their gathering for whatever reasons.”


The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, in his remarks, disclosed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that COVID-19 could be transmitted airborne.


According to him, evidence had shown that staying in closed spaces, small rooms with poor ventilation remains risky; indoor activities, including sporting activities dangerous

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