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COVID-19: High rate of community transmission, 80% of infected patients not in isolation centres – Taskforce

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The Federal Government on Thursday, June 18, urged Nigerians to prepare for difficult days ahead as cases of COVID-19 infections continue to rise.
It was further stated thatt next three weeks will witness an increased fatality rate due to a higher risk of COVID-19 infection.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, during a press briefing in Abuja.

Mustapha said that Nigerians must cooperate with government to tackle the challenge of resistance to change.

He said: “When we started it was one (case) on the 27 of February. Today, we have a record number of over 17, 000 and it is still counting and the truth of this matter is that the adverse effects of these numbers will not be seen now until three weeks ahead. That is when you will begin to see the projections of the mortality

“Because it takes that length of time to go through the processes of incubation and the adverse effect of it. We have got hard days ahead. We have got tough days ahead.”

Mustapha said that Nigerians must cooperate with government to tackle the challenge of resistance to change.
“We have not finished with the first wave. We have not even peaked. So don’t talk about the second wave. Let us deal with the first wave because there is so much work to do.”

At the risk of sounding alarmist; the SGF stated that 80 per cent of infected persons are not in isolation centres because of fear of stigmatisation.

He said the government is taking care of only 20 per cent of patient who show up at isolation centres after developing critical symptoms.

Mustapha said: “You may care to know that almost 80 per cent of people that are infected are in no form of isolation centre or hospital. We are just caring for about 20 per cent that have decided to show up or provide themselves when they are critically ill for the management and care.

“Most people, one of the reasons they decide to avoid the isolation centres or don’t present themselves; until it is late and complications begin to develop is because of this simple reason of being rejected and of being treated differently.”

Due to this lackadaisical attitude by the citizenry; the SFG warned that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is higher than ever.
“There’s no doubt that a lot of community transmission is happening and it continues to increase across the states.

“Now, more than ever before. If you go out, you are more likely to get COVID-19 than before. Your risk of acquiring COVID-19, because of the numbers we have now is more than three, four weeks ago when we had the lockdown. So there isn’t any room for relaxation at this point.

“The reason why we had to relax the lockdown was in order to sustain the livelihoods of Nigerians, particularly those who depend on daily income for survival, as well as to sustain our economy; it wasn’t because the COVID-19 is gone, or because we should be more relaxed in terms of our prevention measures”.

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