From Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic has warned the public to stay away from quarantined returnees from foreign countries.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PTF Mr Boss Mustapha, who gave the warning on Thursday during the daily press briefing by the task force in Abuja, warned that such visits were potentially dangerous to public health.
The SGF lamented reports and viral videos depicting unsafe practices around the quarantine locations of those evacuated from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA).
He advised those being quarantined to decline visits from their friends and loved ones for the period they would be in observation, noting that the disease for which they were being kept away had a high contagious nature.
“The PTF reported the progress made with the evacuation of some Nigerians from the UAE, UK & USA. We also informed you about the mandatory quarantine protocol. Nigerians have in recent days been served with different audio-visual clips by some of these returnees.
“The PTF is saddened by the conduct of some of the returnees who fail to adhere to the conditions attached to their quarantine.
“I strongly urge them to obey the rules in the facilities and also urge their friends and relations to recognize the contagious nature of the disease by desisting from visiting them. Complying is in the interest of the visiting relation and in the overall public interest”, he said.
Mustapha also pointed to the fact that the testing strategy adopted by the task force had proven to be successful, even as it had confirmed the fact that Nigeria now had the capacity to give care to all those who needed it.
“The statistics on COVID 19 have continued to come out daily and the indications are that our testing strategy is yielding results because we can now give care to those that need it.
“The PTF wishes to congratulate all our frontline health workers that have collectively nursed back to health, a total of 1,071 Nigerians already discharged from the various isolation treatment centres. These health workers have put in all, even beyond the call of duty, to save lives. We also congratulate all those that have been discharged and urge them to come out and tell their stories.
“We need to tell Nigerians that COVID-19 is real, that it is deadly and that prevention is better than cure. There is no better convincing and compelling evidence of the reality of the dangers than your experience”, he said.