The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has urged Nigerians looking to make Christmas and New Year trips to postpone them due to the still-present COVID-19 disease.
Eye9ja gathered that the advice was given by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Monday in Abuja.
COVID-19: Nigerians Urged To Cancel Christmas, New Year Travels
He said that the risk of contracting the virus while making such trips was high, adding that there could be an emergence of new clusters of cases.
In his words; “Ahead of the upsurge in travels for the Christmas and New Year festivities, we urge strongly that for this year, such trips should be put on hold firmly because of the risks involved. The transmission rate has simply become astronomical.
“The PTF similarly finds it necessary to mention that during the Christmas and New Year festivities, large social gatherings should also be avoided because there is a bigger risk of COVID-19 transmission. New clusters of cases can emerge in places that have so far been unaffected as people travel and gather for festivities. But we can lower the risks by adhering to the NPIs (Non-Pharmaceutical measures) and celebrate, safely. There will always be many more festive seasons to celebrate.
“This is particularly so because: Our risk perception is low in-country. Our compliance with non-pharmaceutical measures is extremely low to the extent that Nigerians now think COVID-19 is no more; the response of citizens to testing and detection is very low; the risk of importation will be higher with the opening of our airspace; and the numbers in Nigeria, though appearing low over the last two weeks, has been rising gradually.
“Some, that have paid for post arrival testing have failed to show up for the tests. Statistics show the following as at 9/11/2020: Total No of bookings: 91,522; Total No of passengers exempted: 5,470 (6%); Children: 1,248 (1.36%); Diplomats: 3,392 (3.7%); Evacuees: 830 (0.9%); Total Passengers expected to Pay: 86,052(94%); Paid: 46,982 (54.6%) ; Not Paid: 39,070(45.45%).
“Travellers that have arrived in-country but have not paid (approximately 39,000); Amount paid to private labs by passengers who have refused to take the post-arrival 7-day test: N220 – 270 million.
“The PTF is concluding steps to work with relevant institutions and legal authorities to impose appropriate sanctions on those that default on the protocols. The Port Health Services will elaborate more on this.”