The Federal Government has warned that relaxing or suspending some measures put in place to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread, especially restriction on movement and social distancing, at this time would backfire.
Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, sounded this warning on Friday during the daily media briefing by the task force in Abuja.
Aliyu was reacting to reports indicating that some State Governments had gone ahead to order temporary suspension of the lockdown orders for the celebration of the Easter holidays and observance of the Friday Jumat service.
While decrying this development in some states, Dr Aliyu noted that as at now, the only guarantee the world has to survive the health crisis is social distancing, which he said is best achieved through the lockdown.
“We have noted that some states have started lifting their bans or relaxing their containment protocols. This is really not the right time to do so because we still have an ongoing pandemic, which is global. It is also not the right time to do so because we could end up having real recrudescence of infections.
“At this time, I’m appealing to our local communities, religious and traditional leaders, as well as the states, to continue to support and and encourage the public to continue to support and maintain those protective measures that are important to getting on top of this infection.
“There’s also a very strong need for state governments to work in harmony and align with the federal government in our efforts to deal with this pandemic. This pandemic is not just a Lagos or an Abuja situation, it’s a national issue.
“With regards to the Easter celebrations, we’ll like to remind the public that we are still on lockdown for Lagos, Ogun and the FCT.
“The evidences so far from literatures show that cessation of movement or lockdown is still the safest physical distancing measure, when it comes to controlling the COVID-19 infection, after all this is an infection that is invisible, a very social virus, it requires close interaction with each other. So if can maintain that distancing, we might be able to fight it more effectively,” he said.
He also called on State Governments to see to the accreditation of public and private healthcare facilities so that as many facilities could be used in the fight against the spread of the virus.