Don’t be Hasty to reopen schools says PTF

 THE Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the (COVID-19) Control has cautioned states against rushing to reopen schools.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha cited how such haste escalated COVID-19 management situation in some countries.

Mustapha advised that it would be in the best interest of the country to stick to the pattern that had proven effective for the country since the national response was launched.

“It is in the above context that the PTF appreciates the on-going calls for re-opening of the education sector and indeed some sub-nationals are already making preparations for such.

“Whilst the PTF does not discourage making such preparations, we need to be guided by experiences from countries such as Germany, France, the United States and the UK where opening of schools in some cities led to an increase in confirmed cases and fatalities”, he said.

He further hinted that more sectors of the economy may soon be reopened, especially as the nation would be entering a new phase of the eased of lockdown.

He said the PTF would present its recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari this week, which will determine the next phase in the national response.

He noted that the last three weeks had shown a slowdown in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, noting that, in the last four months of testing, the lowest daily figure of confirmed cases (138) was reported on August 30.

The PTF boss however urged caution and vigilance on the declining numbers as he noted that “the virus is still potent and very dangerous”.

He acknowledged that the last seven days had shown a consistently greater number of discharges than confirmed cases and expressed delight that the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, like many other Nigerians, has recovered from the infection, congratulating all those that have recovered and urge them to tell their stories.

The SGF also recalled that at the outbreak of the pandemic, it was predicted that the African continent, with its weak health infrastructure and propensity to high disease burden, would be the worst hit.

He, however said that a recent publication by the Weekly Science Review as indicated that despite having 17 percent of the global population, Africa has accounted for just five per cent of global confirmed COVID-19 cases and three per cent of deaths.

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