Vaccines alone Cannot Cure Covid-19- PTF Chair
REMARKS BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PRESIDENTIAL TASK FORCE ON COVID-19 FOR THURSDAY, 17TH DECEMBER, 2020
National Briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) for today, Thursday, 17th December, 2020.
2.The events and statistics of the last two weeks within and outside Nigeria have been very mixed. On the one hand, the cheering news of the COVID-Vaccine while on the other hand, we have witnessed spikes in number of infections at home and abroad. The real threat is upon humanity and the progress made in the global health sector in the last five decades or more.
3.In Nigeria, the indication is that we have entered a second wave of infections and we stand the risk of not just losing the gains from the hard work of the last nine months but also not losing the precious lives of our citizens. The PTF believes that if we do the right things, adhere to the NPIs and step up our testing and detection, loss of lives will be minimized and the rising curve will begin to flatten out.
4.Let me remind you about our cumulative numbers in the last weeks of 49-51 as follows:
✓ Week 49:--1,843
✓ Week 50:--3,918
✓ Week 51 (Mon-Wed):1,889
5.It is also considered important to avail Nigerians the global situation in the last 3 days,
✓ Global cases crossed the 74 million mark, now at 74,516,681;
✓ USA crossed the 17 million mark;
✓ The WHO Africa Region has crossed the 1.6M cases mark;
✓ Global CFR declined to 2.2%, while the WHO Africa region’s CFR remains at 2.2 %;
✓ USA continues to record high daily case incidence of over 248,686 cases daily; and
✓ On the WHO Africa region, Nigeria ranks 5th for both highest cumulative cases and highest cumulative deaths.
6.The foregoing analysis which will be elaborated upon by the Hon. Minister of health and the National Coordinator respectively is to remind all Nigerians that:
➢ we are in a potentially difficult phase of the COVID-19 resurgence;
➢ Accessing the hope offered by the arrival of the vaccine is still some time ahead;
➢ That vaccines alone cannot cure the virus, rather, a combination of initiatives including the NPIs;
➢ That more than ever before, we need compliance;
➢ That we shall escalate our risk communication and community engagement strategies to higher levels;
➢ Lives have been lost but we must slow down the pace of the spread; and
➢ At the rate at which the numbers are rising should be examined and that our vigilance and compliance with the NPIs should be intensified.
7.Last Tuesday, the PTF held the end of term technical session. It afforded the PTF the opportunity to assess the progress made and the present dangers that confront us. The Report of the PTF will be submitted to the President on Tuesday, 22nd December, 2020. Current realities however point to the fact that the course of further opening up of the economy may have to be reviewed.
8.The festive season is here and we remain conscious of the fact that large gathering events will take place. It is our strong advice that all non-essential trips be cancelled outrightly. We also urge citizens to avoid large gathering events.
9.Before I invite the Hon Minister of Health, I wish to state that for the first time since March, the Chairman of the PTF is absent from the briefing. As you are already aware, he is self-isolating out of abundance of caution and in line with our protocols. We wish him safety and we wish the members of his family, quick recovery.
10. I now invite the Hon. Minister of Health, followed by the DG (NCDC) and the National Coordinator to update you from the technical perspectives.
Presented by Hadi Sirika, Hon Minister of Aviation on behalf of the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha