Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday extended the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 until the end of March 2021, as the West African country continues to see steady a surge in its caseload.
“Nigeria cannot afford to lose the gains of the last nine months. I have critically evaluated the situation and remain convinced that urgent measures have to be taken to halt the spread of the Coronavirus and the attendant fatalities,” said Buhari.
The PTF was established by Buhari on March 9, 2020 to spearhead Nigeria’s multi-sectoral inter-governmental efforts to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Nigeria reported its first COVID-19 case on 28 February, and had recorded 78,790 infections and 1,227 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon.
The country’s caseload is the ninth-highest in Africa while its death toll is the tenth-highest.
President Buhari noted that his administration is working to access and administer a COVID-19 vaccine as that “is an important obligation that we owe Nigerians”.
He also urged Nigerians to remain vigilant during the festive period to avoid contracting or spreading the virus further.
“As the festive season approaches, I urge all Nigerians to remain vigilant and stay safe. Non-essential trips and large social gatherings should be avoided or shelved completely,” said Buhari.
I am extending the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 till the end of March 2021, bearing in mind the new surge in the number of cases, and the bid for vaccines.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) December 22, 2020