PTF raises concerns over refusal by COVID-19 patients to stay in isolation - THE LIVING GUIDE

PTF raises concerns over refusal by COVID-19 patients to stay in isolation

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The Presidential Task Force PTF on the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic has raised concerns over reports that Nigerians who had tested positive for the virus had been refusing to go into isolation.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF and Chairman of the PTF, Mr Boss Mustapha, who raised the concern during the daily media briefing by the task force on Thursday in Abuja, also noted of the report that citizens had been refusing to help authorities in the process of contact tracing.

While he sounded the danger in refusing to submit for isolation, especially when testing had come back positive, he charged the public to be cooperative with healthcare officials who would be advising and attending to them when such occasion arose.

He noted that many people, who had tested positive to COVID-19 had died due to worsening of their conditions while staying away from the care meant to be administered in isolation centres.

“We have received reports about citizens refusing to help with contact tracing as well as going into isolation after testing positive. It is in the interest of everybody that contacts are traced so as to slow down the spread. It is also in our interest to go into isolation facilities for close monitoring.

“A number of fatalities have been recorded due to change in the condition of patients while staying outside the isolation facilities. Our appeal is that if agents of the state get in touch with you regarding testing, contact tracing activities, please cooperate”, he said.

The SGF also charged the state governments to decentralise the administration of the national response to the council areas, emphasising the critical nature of the states’ oversight role in driving the second phase of the eased lockdown

“The PTF has continued to observe the take-off of Phase two and implementation of the additional guidelines nationwide. State oversight of this phase of the response is very critical.

“The response needs to be decentralized to the LGA level, identifying high burden LGAs and ensuring mapping of adequate support to rapidly trace, test and treat cases.

“States need to drive aggressive campaigns to engage communities in order to address behavior change and debunk misconceptions and stigma. Traditional and religious institutions have a role to play in sensitizing communities about COVID 19”, he said.

Mustapha who noted that the nation approach the weekend, reminded the public to be aware of the guidelines set for restricted opening of places of worship.

He said that the national guidelines have been shared with the states and that the federal government expect that protocols will be agreed with religious leaders.

“Compliance is important so as to avoid unwanted consequences that put the lives of people at risk of contracting COVID19. We urge utmost caution at all times. The PTF will continue to monitor the overall compliance to the easing of restriction as well as evolution of the outbreak.

“However, we will not hesitate to review as we progress, should the situation warrant, to avoid preventable risks of transmission,” Mustapha said.

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