The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has adduced reasons for the increase in the number of cases in the country in the last one week.
The Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, adduced the reasons at the body’s briefing on Monday in Abuja.
In the last five days, Nigeria has witnessed increase in the number of infections across the country, especially the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Lagos and Kaduna States.
The highest figure of infection of 930 was recorded in the last one week.
The was also another high of 920 and then 806.
Before then, the highest single-day infection was 796, recorded during the lockdown of the country.
Mustapha said on Monday: “The result of the analysis carried out by the PTF further indicate that the current pattern of spread, and the surge is likely to be driven by the following factors:
“The lack of compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions – particularly the disregard for mask use in public, large gatherings as a result of events linked to the yuletide season and recent civil demonstrations.
“Further disregard for other public health preventive measures, such as hand hygiene and physical distance requirements;
“The activities and assumptions of our youthful population which has resulted in an increase in the infection rate among young people, who are subsequently infecting older and more vulnerable family members.
“From our assessment, the current situation are clearly the consequences of certain occurrences and events of the last few weeks. These include
“Sudden increase in social gatherings involving large congregations from different parts of the country, and the world, at events such as weddings, religious activities, political rallies, conferences and end of year celebrations;
“These events, classified globally as ‘supers-spreader events’, make the risk of a single infection causing a large outbreak among attendees significantly higher;
“Furthermore, as we reopened the economy, we experienced increased economic, social and religious gatherings and activities all of which have combined to play a part in viral transmissions. These include:
“The opening of the international airspace in September 2020 – While the average number of daily imported infections into the country in the last 90 days is estimated to be about 7 cases, compared to 100-150 reported new infections in the community since the beginning of community transmission, the test positivity rate in travellers arriving Lagos has recently doubled to 6.3%;
“The resumption of schools – outbreaks have been reported in schools following the resumption of physical classes;
“The resumption of NYSC orientation camps – this risk has been mitigated by ensuring that all NYSC members were screened for COVID-19 prior to admission to camp, but confirmed cases have still been identified through tests carried out;
“The full opening of offices with the return to work of government workers from GL. 12 and below – outbreaks have also been reported in public offices, most likely linked to overcrowding, poor ventilation and the lack of compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions; and
“The opening of the economy with progressive relaxation of restrictions in congregational areas such as places of worship, restaurants, bars, lounges, shopping and event centres.
“You will also recall that the PTF established the Nigeria International Travel Portal for the control of possible importation of the virus. Statistics show that a good percentage of in-bound travellers have breached the travel protocols thereby making surveillance and testing suffer undue setbacks. The following statistics will be of interest.
“ As at date, 163,818 inbound travellers have been captured on the portal;
“Out of this number, 77,025 (47%) made payment for post arrival testing;
“64,405 (84%) of the number are due for post-arrival test;
“Out of 44,189 (69%) that were due for post-arrival test, 44,189 representing (59%) of those tested; and
“20,216 (31%) have not shown up for post arrival test thereby endangering members of the community and breaching the protocols they signed up to.
“The PTF has concluded arrangements with the Nigeria Immigration Service to impose sanctions on these defaulters for breaching the public health protocols, within ambit of the law.”