The Federal Government says if there is an explosion of cases of
coronavirus infections, it will be left with no choice but to ask all
Nigerians to go back to their homes.
Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this in Abuja
yesterday at a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. He
said initial reports on compliance with the guidelines on the
implementation of the phased and gradual easing of the lockdown in
Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari,
which took effect yesterday were not too pleasing across the country He
expressed concern that corporate organisations, especially banks,
flouted the NCDC’s guideline for infection prevention and control.
we say take responsibility this time, yes we’re addressing individuals,
but we really needed to address corporate Nigeria. One of the biggest
groups that we have allowed to restart business today (Monday) were
banks. When you limit the number of branches that open, everybody goes
to the one branch that is open; that becomes counter-productive. “We can
produce all the guidelines in the world, but if organisations are not
going to come up and support the implementation of these measures and
help us manage the risks and focus on a risk-based approach, then our
efforts might amount to little or nothing.
“Today (Monday), we
might forgive a little bit because it was the first day. However, we’ll
have infections because of what happened today (Monday), no doubt about
that. “But what’s more important is how we can learn from the mistakes
of today into tomorrow and into next tomorrow so that by Friday,
hopefully they’ll have normalised some of these things.
we knew today (Monday) will be a problem because for the first time
people were let out of their homes, but the challenge for us as a
society is how we now organise ourselves to mitigate this risk to limit
transmission from each other so that yes, we might have a few extra
infections today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday), but what we don’t want
is an explosion of new infections. “If we do have that explosion, there
will be almost no choice left for the leadership of the country than to
ask all of us to go back into our homes.
“So for the
benefits of having a few hours a day of coming out and reopening parts
of the economy, there’s a price to pay and that price is that we
organise ourselves to do this strictly,” the NCDC boss said.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation and chairman of the task
force, Boss Mustapha, said the PTF had been monitoring the level of
compliance with some of the measures and early observations showed lack
of compliance with social distancing and wearing of masks.