NewsOnline Nigeria reports that President Buhari led Federal Government has explained its helplessness in the face of gross violations of COVID-19 safety protocols, saying the nation’s health system is currently struggling to cope with the increasing number of infections daily.
While it projected that January 2021 would be tough in terms of managing the pandemic due to continued safety violations during the Yuletide, it announced its decision to confiscate 100 international passports of travellers who evaded the Day 7 post-arrival PCR test.
This came as the Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA threatened to shut down markets and other business ventures in the territory for violating the safety protocols.
Speaking at Tuesday’s briefing of the Presidential Taskforce PTF on COVID-19, Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Iheakwazu said Nigeria would next month pay the price of violating the protocols during the festivities.
“We just faced the worst week since we started responding to this outbreak. We had more cases in Nigeria last week than in any other previous week since the beginning of the outbreak.
“Pictures and videos from across the country paint a very disheartening situation because it appears that our messaging, our appeals to Nigerians over the last few months have not been heeded and we have gone ahead with business as usual. Events centres are full, social activities are full and so it is no surprising that cases are rising.
“January will be a tough month, no doubt about it. So, we have to brace ourselves for the consequences of the activities that we have decided to carry out in December. Our colleagues, the Chief Medical Directors CMDs are here today because of the pressures that we face across the country. Our treatment centres are filling up, we are struggling to keep up, we are struggling to find the facilities and oxygen to manage. Every night we are faced with phone calls of patients desperate for care.
So, unfortunately, January will be a tough month for all of us. It will be tough but we still have an opportunity to do what we need to do, liaising with state governors to be more purposeful in implementing the measures that we have collectively agreed on.
We have seen some of them doing that but many of the states in the country haven’t and pretend as if there will be no consequences. This is the reality we face and so we have got to brace ourselves for January”, he stated.
Iheakwazu added that in terms of the new variant of the virus, there is no change in presentation of symptoms except that it is more transmissible which would mean more cases including critical ones, and the possible increase in case fatalities. Minister of State, Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora lamented the growing wave of misinformation in the country warning Nigerians not to self-medicate.