Government is concerned about cases of infection amongst some students sitting for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSSCE), Boss Mustapha, the Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, said Thursday.
“In view of this, there is the need for more vigilance by all stakeholders and everyone else,” Mustapha said in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the task force.
He said the stark reality of the fact that the country’s confirmed COVID-19 cases had moved to 50,488 and a death toll of 985 was still worrisome.
“These records are not landmarks to be celebrated, especially as every single death further underscores the grief and pains of families and friends, scuttling lives which could have contributed to national development and abridging God’s purpose for the lost soul.
“This is aptly demonstrated by the fact that 14 of these paid the supreme sacrifice as they were doctors who toiled daily to save lives.
“We will continually pray for the repose of all the lost souls and work to ensure that their deaths are not in vain,” Mustapha, who is Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said.
He added that the most edifying tribute Nigerians could pay to those dead was to do the basic minimum in avoiding more fatalities.
“The PTF will, therefore, not fail to continue in the path of moral persuasion.
”This is because the superiority of personal conviction on grounds of morality remains a more effective and dignified approach in appealing to our individual and collective conscience on the need to wear our face masks properly, maintain social distances, avoid crowded places and maintain personal hygiene.”
The SGF expressed hope in some succour when the implementation of the National Policy on Ethics and Integrity, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, begins.
”Nigerians will have the necessary incentive and impetus to always do the appropriate thing in all circumstances.
“Because, if we have relied on our age-old value systems of integrity, adhering to guidelines will be second nature to us as citizens.
“The coronavirus pandemic continues to display unpredictable characteristics that show its relentless nature on populations that disregard common and simple protective measures.
“Such behaviour has been amplified in the surge in some states of the U.S.,” Mustapha said.
He added that this unpredictability was reflected in when Plateau witnessed the highest daily number of confirmed cases.
The SGF also said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had in the previous two days issued warnings on Vaccine Nationalism and that young people were aiding the spread of the virus.
He said that the latter aspect was more germane for Nigeria with over 80 per cent of youth population, pointing out that this should give everyone more cause to be on guard.
Mustapha said it would border on extreme selfishness for Nigerian youths to believe that since they were asymptomatic carriers, they could carry on with life as they pleased.
”We should look remember that being asymptomatic does not guarantee immunity forever.
“The PTF is, however, encouraged by the fact that majority of our youths are in the vanguard of this fight and we will still call on the few non-conforming ones to join,” he said.