Abuja said that 85 local government areas (LGAs) in 20 states still remain with no testing done and no case reported amidst the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said this at the 56th joint national briefing of the taskforce.
According to him, the nation has over time ramped up testing but more needs to be done to raise the quantum of test per million.
“Our analysis has however shown that five states still account for 60 percent of cumulative cases; 689 out of 774 LGAs have reported a case; 85 LGAs in 20 States still remain with no testing done and no case reported; and 50 percent of all cases are in 20 percent LGAs,” Mustapha said.
He said that the task force on Thursday intimated Nigerians with the new direction of further easing the lockdown in the nation’s National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, “As we progress in this new phase of the eased lockdown, continual monitoring of global and national science and data remains the basis for strengthening our efforts to contain the virus.
“Key sectors that the PTF will be watching in addition to the general level of compliance are the education and transportation sectors.
“Schools are gradually reopening with the commencement of preparations for critical examinations. Guidelines have already been issued by the Federal Ministry of Education to all stakeholders.”
The SGF added that for the transportation sector, the PTF continues to follow the developments in railway and air transportation respectively.
According to him, the PTF and the Federal Ministry of Aviation are working rapidly towards reopening of the international flights.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians and sector stakeholders to ensure compliance with the various non-pharmaceutical measures already in place.
The SGF said that the PTF will also be looking closely at the issue of Risk Communication and Community Engagement.
He said that messaging and consultations shall be intensified to drive the level of awareness and compliance to the wider population using mediums and platforms that are most effective generally and specifically.
The SGF said that the global numbers of confirmed cases surpassed 20 million and 750,000 deaths.
“These statistics remain serious warning signals accompanied by pains and anguish to families and friends that have lost loved ones.
“Africa’s confirmed cases have surpassed one million marks which is a landmark.
“The challenge however is that the true numbers could be higher because we suspect strongly that for every reported case, up to seven might have been missed,” he said.
Mustapha also said that as the numbers are surging, community spread has taken root and expanded beyond the urban areas and that the watchword is vigilance and taking extra care.
He said that Nigeria, with 46,577 confirmed cases and 945 cumulative deaths, remains respectively the third and fourth highest in these parameters.
He warned that Nigeria is yet to reach the peak of the pandemic and that the low test or case confirmation numbers coming out daily should not be misinterpreted to mean that the nation has overcome.
He added, “The PTF is happy to note that many survivors are telling their stories and sharing them in social media.
“The stories of those who doubted the existence of the virus and became unfortunately infected and are now expressing appreciation for the timely intervention of the case management team provides compelling proof that the virus is real.”
Mustapha also said that Nigeria continues to play its role in supporting the fight against COVID-19 on the West Africa Sub-Region and that last week, men and women of the Nigerian Airforce distributed PPEs and medical supplies donated by the West African Health Organisation and other partners to Nigeria’s neighbors.