BOTH the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 have expressed frustration at the nonchalant attitude of public towards the coronavirus pandemic following the recent lifting of some of the restrictions by the government.
On Monday, the federal government partially lifted restrictions imposed in the Abuja and Lagos and Ogun states to ease the economic impact it was having on the populace. Under the terms of the easing of these restrictions, members of the public were asked to wear facemasks in public as well as observe a social of about two metres, while inter-state travel was also banned.
However, in Abuja and Lagos in particular, members of the public went about their business in total defiance of the health guidelines, raising fears that the number of infected people will soon soar. It has already been suggested that the federal government may need to impose a nationwide lockdown soon if the figures of affected people rises out of control.
Boss Mustapha, the chairman of the PTF task force, said disregard for the ban on inter-state movements and other guidelines was an indication of the dangers ahead. Likewise the NGF added that that security agencies must live up to their responsibilities by stopping all violations of the ban on inter-state travel.
Mr Mustapha, said an early assessment of the ease of lockdown indicated that Nigerians had yet to come to terms with the deadliness and the virulent nature of Covid-19. He added that some of the PTF worries included non-compliance with social/physical distancing guidelines evidenced by higher-than-advised congregation of people in banks, traffic gridlocks, especially at entry points to metropolitan areas and disregard for guidelines on carrying capacity of vehicles.
In addition, he lamented the fact that there was an increased level of inter-state movements worsened by the dubious concealment of people in vehicles carrying foods. There was also the unhygienic and ill-advised use and sharing of masks, including multiple fittings before buying from vendors.
“The overall assessment of compliance with the measures and the outcome of modelling we have developed, point in the direction of danger ahead. We therefore need personal discipline, increased awareness and enforcement.
“I also wish to repeat my call to the banks to also quickly address issues related to difficulty with using their online platforms, especially revalidating expired ATM cards, among others,” Mr Mustapha added.
He also urged transportation unions to educate their members on the ban imposed on interstate travels. Mr Mustapha said the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control would visit Kogi and Cross River states, which have yet record any Covid-19 case to provide support for them.