The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has raised the alarm over the spate of infection since the second wave of the disease hit Nigeria.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who doubles as the Chairman of PTF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, disclosed that 16 out of every 100 tests carried out now return positive. Mustapha, at a media briefing in Abuja yesterday, also hinted that the national response to the pandemic was facing challenges because of the second wave of the disease.
He said: “Week 52 has so far given us the highest number of infections, in a single week, to date. Our TPR analysis shows that 16 out of every 100 tests carried out are positive. We are also seeing increasing transmission among younger people and this is not considered good and safe. We must, therefore, exercise utmost restraint by taking responsibility.”
The PTF expressed worry that despite resources deployed to states, testing remained low in various degrees. He called for optimal utilisation of all the 90 laboratories established across the country. Speaking on the underutilisation of laboratories in some states, the SGF said: “You will recall that we recently issued some protocols to states to which a number of states have been actively implementing.
We thank these states and urge others to follow suit. Closely related to these protocols, is the fact that the strategy of testing to detect and treat remains central to the role states are expected to play. “Data shows that despite the resources already made available to sub-national entities, testing is very low across states in varying degrees. This is not helping our National Response. Indeed, some states have not reported any infections in several weeks.
“Reports received also point to the fact that laboratories recently established in the states are not working optimally. You will recall that we moved from two laboratories to about 90 (public and private) located in all states of the federation.