President Muhammadu Buhari with Some Members of PTF on COVID-19 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT.

COVID-19: Buhari receives PTF briefing on fresh measures

* No presidential broadcast Monday –Presidential aide

* There is no vaccine in the horizon  ─Boss Mustapha

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

President Muhammadu Buhari has received the situation report from some members of the Nigerian Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on the nation’s efforts at containing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic thus far.

President Buhari, Sunday, May 17 had received a briefing and recommendations on further measures to curb the spread of the virus from the PTF on COVID-19 in Abuja, FCT.

It was gathered that such a briefing has often preceded a nationwide broadcast in which the President announces policies to tackle the deadly Coronavirus epidemic in the country.

The PTF on COVID-19 had hinted that President Buhari might announce new measures to Nigerians in a national broadcast Monday, May 18.

However, Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, has debunked reports that President Muhammadu Buhari would be addressing Nigerians Monday.

Adesina stated this on his Twitter handle Monday, following the first phase of the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown.

He said that there would be no presidential broadcast on COVID-19 updates on the day, stressing that none was planned.

He added that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, during its daily briefing, would brief Nigerians on the next steps to follow.

“No presidential broadcast on COVID-19 updates today (Monday),” the Presidential aide stated.

Earlier, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of PTF, had met with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to acquaint him with the progress in its assignment thus far.

Mustapha informed the State House correspondents that “tomorrow (Monday), we should expect new processes to be put in place.

“But we have to give him all the details that will help us in preparing for the future. So that is why we are here.

“I think this is about the third time that we have had cause to submit an interim report to him on our activities as a task force, and also to update him on preparation for the other phases of engagement.

“And we have supplied him with all the materials that are required to look at the issues. Because we are in for the long haul, this is not a short-distance race; it is a marathon and we have to keep everything in perspective.

“But remember on the 27th of April, he addressed the nation and in place the easing down of the lockdown effective from the 4th of May. From the 4th of May to date is about 13 days,” the PTF Chairman stated.

According to him, the task force has achieved the three objectives it set out to achieve.

He stressed that “we might not be there totally but I am confident that looking at the strategies that we are putting in place, going forward we will strengthen those objectives that we have substantially achieved which are purpose-driven in terms of dealing with COVID-19.

“And like I said, it is not a 100-meter race, it is a marathon. So, at every point in time, you replace the strategy and move forward and that is what we are doing.

“I can assure that what proposals we have brought today (Sunday) for Mr. President consideration, I think holistically, it will put us in a better frame to deal with the future.”

He, however, related the PTF’s worries over Nigerians’ non-compliance with established guidelines to curb the virus.

Mustapha said: “That is one of the setbacks that I can say. There was a poll that was conducted over the last two weeks covering all facets of segments and demography of people, 99 percent of Nigerians said they are aware of COVID-19.

“They have listened to publicity materials, jingles and the information that have been put out there by the Ministry of Information and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.

“But different percentages that have a different perspective, some 26 percent said that they are immune. With that kind of a mindset?

“When someone said he is immune, it means that he will not use the face mask, he will not observe social distancing, he will not stay at home when he is supposed to stay at home.

“And different percentages have ascribed different levels of understanding of what COVID-19 is. But the most important thing is for us to drive home, community ownership.

He advised that the community should “understand that there is a COVID-19 that is deadly, that can ravage their health and their wealth and the most important thing for them to do is for them to take personal responsibility in dealing with it.”

A vaccine for COVID-19 is still a long way off, he warned, noting that the disease might have several resurgences.

He added: “No vaccine is in the horizon, we are talking about 18 months to two years before vaccines would be confirmed for human use for COVID-19. And unless we get there, it means is that it will remain.”

Kindly Share This Story