By Seun Adeuyi
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, has said that 44 persons died of the disease in Lagos and Abuja in December 2020.
The National Coordinator of PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu who stated this at a press conference in Abuja, on Tuesday, also said seven died from the disease in the two locations earlier in November.
According to Aliyu, “As we know, different parts of the world are now witnessing a surge in Covid cases and the PTF will like to reiterate the importance of continuous adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions. There is no doubt that here in Nigeria, we are experiencing our own second wave, which is now sweeping across the country.
“For those of you following our numbers, the number of new cases per week has tripled. We were running around 2,000 cases per week; we now exceed 6,000 cases a week. Three weeks ago, if we took 100 samples, we got four positives; we are now getting 16 positives.
“In November, in Lagos, five persons died of Covid; in December, 26 died of Covid. In Abuja, in November, two persons died of Covid; in December, 18 died of Covid. And these are all preventable deaths from a disease that we know we can protect ourselves from.
“So, there is no doubt (that) we are in a great danger, hence the reason why we have continued to talk about these non-pharmaceutical interventions. We know that vaccines are available but these vaccines are not here yet with us. Even if you have a vaccine today, based on the vaccines that we currently have, it will take at least a month to get a good immune response because you will need a second dose. So, why not use the vaccine that we have already here, which are the non-pharmaceutical interventions?”
Aliyu also announced that the Government had pencilled down 20,000 defaulters and had resolved to, every week, sanction 100 international travellers who failed to take required tests after their arrival in the country.
He noted that testing remained critical in the response to the pandemic, recalling that 37,000 samples were tested nationwide last week, with Abuja having over 9,000; and Lagos, over 7,000; while three states tested only six, 11 and 26 samples, respectively.