The presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 says there are indications that the country has entered a second wave of infections.
Boss Mustapha, chairman of the PTF, who was represented by Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, disclosed this at a media briefing on Thursday.
He noted the increase of infections across the country, adding that non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) can help to limit the spread pending the availability of vaccines.
“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-19 vaccine, while on the other hand, we have witnessed spikes in the number of infections at home and abroad,” he said.
“The real threat is upon humanity and the progress made in the global health sector in the last five decades or more.
“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 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 minimised and the rising curve will begin to flatten.
“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. Vaccines alone cannot cure the virus. Rather, a combination of initiatives, including the NPI. More than ever before, we need compliance.”
The PTF chairman also emphasised the need to improve risk communication and engagement strategies, and warned Nigerians to be cautious during the festive season by avoiding large gatherings and non-essential trips.
“Lives have been lost, but we must slow down the pace of the spread. The rate at which the numbers are rising should be examined and our vigilance and compliance with the NPIs should be intensified,” he added.