The Federal Government has warmed that any second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria will destroy the economy and cause many deaths.
National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, gave the warning in Abuja on Monday at the briefing of the PTF.
He said: “Specifically, we urge businesses that are reopening to align themselves to our efforts by establishing and practicing COVID-19 sensitive business precautionary measures.
“We eventually have to reopen, but we can only do so if we reopen safely. It’s quite clear, as we can see from the other parts of the world, that certain countries are now going back into lockdown state because of the pandemic coming back again, otherwise called recrudescence or what we call a second wave.
“We really cannot afford to have this happening in this country. It’ll destroy our economy and it will lead to a lot of deaths. Therefore, we ‘ve to reopen safely, we cannot risk another shutdown nor can we risk more lives being lost.”
He said with the reopening of the economy, the PTF would continue to provide data-driven and scientific advisories that could protect the nation from the pandemic. So far, our data analysis shows that most Nigerians continue to be in denial of the dangerous nature of this virus.
“As our airspace and various sectors are opening up, it’s really very easy to forget and be fooled into complacency, but we really shouldn’t.”
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the government was working to reduce case fatalities of the COVID-19 in Nigeria to less than one percent from the present two percent.
He said the government was also working on innovative interventions with prospects of improving survival chances, especially for the elderly and those with co-morbidities.
“Although it is far too early to draw conclusions, it is noteworthy that testing increased by over 40,000 in one month and the number of positive cases dropped by more than 2,000. But we must not rest on our oars: it is just suggestive of the fact that our strategy is not failing, and we must continue to sustain efforts,” Ehanire said.