The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the COVID-19 has warned that allowing a second wave of the pandemic in the country can destroy the economy and lead to too many deaths.
Its National Coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu, gave the warning yesterday at a media briefing in Abuja.
“Specifically, we urge businesses that are reopening to align themselves to our efforts by establishing and practising COVID-19-sensitive business precautionary measures.
“We eventually have to reopen, but we can only do so if we reopen safely. It is quite clear, as we can see from the other parts of the world, that certain countries are now going back into lockdown because of the pandemic coming back, otherwise called recrudescence or what we call a second wave.
“We really cannot afford to have this happening in this country. It will destroy our economy and it will lead to a lot of deaths. Therefore, we have to reopen safely. We cannot risk another shutdown nor can we risk more lives being lost,” he said.
Aliyu said the PTF would provide data-driven and scientific advisories to help the country.
The coordinator said data analysis had shown that a large population of Nigerians was living in denial of the virulent nature of COVID-19, warning that it would be dangerous to be fooled into complacency.
He urged Nigerians to desist from drawing conclusions that the COVID-19 curve of the country had started to gradually wane, based on the decline in cases in the last few days.
Aliyu stressed that the decrease in the number of cases recorded were the result of reduction in the numbers of COVID-19 samples collected across the country, especially during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
In the last four days, a steady drop in numbers of confirmed cases was observed. The number of cases recorded on July 29, July 30, July 31, August 1, and August 2, were 404, 481, 462, 386, and 304.
NCDC’s Director General Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said: “Concerning the decline in the cases in the last few days, we all know we have had a long weekend and have had an excellent Sallah break.
“Many of us have had to slow down a little bit and that slowdown has also happened such that many of those collecting samples across many states in Nigeria have also slowed down…”